What to know about the TCS — and how it can help your company
Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs looking to expand globally can get help from the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to sell their products and services in international markets. CanadExport answers some of the TCS's most commonly asked questions. For more information, news and insights about exporting, you can also follow and stay connected with the TCS on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
What do Trade Commissioners do?
Trade Commissioners are the backbone of the TCS. Working from offices across Canada and around the world, they help Canadian companies:
- assess their potential in specific markets
- develop market‑entry strategies
- find qualified contacts and connect with international opportunities
- resolve export‑related business problems
Am I eligible for TCS services?
The TCS supports Canadian companies that have meaningful economic ties to Canada, with the capacity and commitment to expand globally and the potential to contribute significantly to Canada's economic growth. This means that your company must:
- be registered or incorporated in Canada
- employ staff in Canada
- maintain a presence in Canada through an office, subsidiary, plant, research and development facility, or joint venture
Your company also must have:
- researched foreign markets
- dedicated resources (both human and financial) to international growth
- a business plan with international objectives
In addition, your company's international business development activity must have direct benefits to Canada, such as increased exports of Canadian‑made products or services, the creation of new jobs, and more.
What should be my first point of contact with the TCS?
As a first step, we recommend getting in touch with one of the TCS's six regional offices in Canada. These offices provide advice to help you develop your export plans and begin your international expansion. That includes finding the right markets for your products or services, and improving your international business strategy. In many cases, Trade Commissioners in Canada can also make the appropriate referrals to their colleagues abroad for you!
What do the TCS’s offices abroad do?
Trade Commissioners based at TCS offices abroad provide expert advice, on‑the‑ground support and industry contacts to help you do business in international markets. For example, they can inform you about barriers and regulations associated with entering a specific country or region, and provide an overview of the competitive landscape and practical advice on such areas as navigating business and cultural practices. They can also share knowledge about potential business opportunities or emerging trends.
Can I get funding to help my business sell to other countries?
Consult the TCS’s funding and support programs webpage for information on funding from the TCS's CanExport program and support for specific audiences and sectors, as well as funding and support from TCS partners. And be sure to visit the Business Benefits Finder, which can help entrepreneurs find programs and services that meet their needs.
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