Entrepreneurship & Small Business

BEGINNER HERE: Questions on New Business that Involves Import from China

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  • Jul 29th, 2018 2:53 pm
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Jul 28, 2018
3 posts

BEGINNER HERE: Questions on New Business that Involves Import from China

Hello all,

I'm planning on starting a new business providing supplies to local retailers. Below is a brief explanation of what I'm trying to do and some questions. Would very much appreciate some business advice if possible.

I've received requests from some local businesses to source items they use regularly. I have manufacturers ready to produce them. My plan is to manufacture, ship them to Canada by sea freight and to a warehouse, from which I plan to deliver to the business.

1. BUSINESS TYPE: Given the potential liability issues involved, and the fact that I would need to register an import/export account number - my plan was to register a provincial corporation. Should I be considering registering federally as well?

2. WAREHOUSE/STORAGE: Upon arrival of goods in Toronto and Ottawa, I was planning on putting the boxes in a spare room in my apartment. However, being on the 12th floor doesn't make this the most efficient solution by any means. Otherwise, I was planning on renting a local storage unit in both cities to hold the inventory. Is there a more cost effective method that I can use to hold the inventory upon arrival in my city, from which I can access and deliver to customers?

3. PAYMENT: Do I collect payment up-front or upon delivery of shipment to the business? If so, what are the type of payment methods that I should accept? In terms of timing, my worry is paying for the whole process and getting stuck with the inventory in the end if they decide against it.

4. SHIPPING: My manufacturers have recommended their own shippers to get the freight to Toronto and Ottawa respectively. What should I keep in mind when looking for a freight forwarder? How long does it regularly take sea freight to reach Toronto and Ottawa from China. Additionally, I've never done customs clearance before, so would probably need a customs broker. What should I look for in a customs broker?

5. INVENTORY TIMING: My business would be geared towards providing supplies that they use regularly and would need to restock on either weekly/monthly. Naturally, timing is important to keeping my edge. What would be some good practices to synchronize the manufacture and shipping process with their own needs. In other words, if the lead time is 2 weeks and shipping to Toronto takes 30 days - what are some of the best ways to ensure seamless supply to my customers?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and help me out.
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