Increasing sales from businesses in Northern Ireland to markets outside the region is one of the most effective ways to stimulate economic recovery and transform the Northern Ireland economy growth. Get support to export to Europe and further markets worldwide.

Go Further Grow Stronger

Northern Ireland’s 10X Vision sets out the ambition to harness trade opportunities outside Northern Ireland to create a more prosperous and competitive economy for all.

Your business can be part of that exciting transformation. By exploring the export opportunities and accessing the support available, your business can go further and grow stronger.

Why should I sell outside NI?

With a population of over 700 million, Europe is home to some of the world's leading market economies. Innovation, as well as its traditional industries, will continue to be a success factor for Northern Ireland businesses. 

In 2020, Northern Ireland businesses exported over £17.2bn in goods and services to Europe.*

* Source: Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics, NISRA (2020)

If your business is already successfully trading in GB or RoI, then European or international markets may present the next exciting opportunity to go further and grow stronger.

As well as the potential benefits of increased sales and greater profits, targeting markets outside Northern Ireland can also:

  • Stimulate creativity & innovation in your business as you evolve your products or services to serve new markets;
  • Enhance your company brand & market positioning;
  • Enhance resilience and reduce the risk to your business by over reliance on one market;

Register for an export focused event:

Export Health Check

To take the next step in your exporting journey, complete our Export Health Check.

Complete our Export Health Check to assess your existing exporting capability. By answering a few short questions we will provide a tailored guide that will give you the tools to develop your own bespoke export strategy.

Export Health Check

Tailored guidance for your business.

This tool will help you understand the importance of export and to quickly assess how prepared your business is to undertake export activities, whether you are exporting for the first time, or looking for a new export market.

It has a maximum of 8 questions and will take about 10 minutes to complete. At the end, we will email you a tailored report that will tell you:

  • where you are in your export journey;
  • what your next steps should be;
  • give you practical tips and templates; and
  • signpost you to what support is available.

So we can email you your tailored report, we will ask for your name, email address, and company name at the end of the process.  Your results and recommended actions are completely confidential and will not be passed on to any third parties.

Please be honest and realistic in your answers, so your report is an accurate assessment of how your business is currently doing, and not how you would like your business to perform in the future.

Export Health Check

Answer the following questions to receive your export guide.

Q1 - Is your business based in Northern Ireland?
Q2 - Can your product or service be sold to customers outside Northern Ireland?
It is critical to understand any regulatory, compliance, and procedural issues that might affect your product or service in your target market.

A rule or regulation could stop you exporting, it makes sense to find out before you spend any time or money exploring your export options.
Q3 - Are you currently selling outside of Northern Ireland?
Indicate what market you are currently selling to
Q4 - Have you formulated a plan to begin selling to new markets or increase sales in existing markets?
Exporting can help to grow your business but in order to be successful it’s important to understand what your objectives are and how exporting fits into your business growth strategy.

Preparation is key to successful exporting the best way to ensure you succeed is to have a clearly written plan with stated goals, timeframes and clearly assigned tasks. An export plan is an extension of your business plan it can help you to develop a strategy to make your business succeed.
Q5 - Market research is vital to growing sales outside Northern Ireland. Have you considered any of the following in your market research? Tick all that apply:
Q6 - Do you have the skills in your business to target new sales outside Northern Ireland?
Exporting can be complex:
• Are your staff trained to understand transport logistics and the legal issues involved?
• Can your staff do business in another language?
• Do your staff understand how to do business in another currency?
Q7 - Do you have the necessary resources such as people, production capacity, finances and time to commit to growing sales outside Northern Ireland and to respond to additional demand for your product/service?
Could your business cope if you received a large export order?

How will you ensure you don’t neglect your current customers?
Q8 - Do you have the necessary funds to undertake export activity?
Exporting can be costly you might have to increase production to meet demand, transport costs will increase and lead times for payment can be longer.

It’s important to know what you can afford and what extra funds you might need. You need to understand how much it will cost you to export.

Export Health Check

Support is available for your business to start selling outside Northern Ireland.

Complete this form and we will email you a link to download the guide on how to start selling outside Northern Ireland.

Export Health Check

Support is available for your business to find new export markets.

Complete this form and we will email you a link to download the guide on how to find new export markets.

Note: [*]denotes mandatory field

For information on how we use your personal data including your rights, see our privacy notice.

Export Health Check

Tailored guidance for your business.

Our export guides are tailored for businesses based in Northern Ireland.

The UK Government’s Department for International Trade offers a wide range of free export support. To find out more, visit great.gov.uk

The nibusinessinfo.co.uk help and support for exporting section has a range of support available to new and established businesses to help them start trading successfully outside Northern Ireland.

Export Health Check

Tailored guidance for your business.

Our export guides are tailored for businesses which sell a product or service manufactured or developed in Northern Ireland.

You can explore the gov.uk export goods from the UK: step by step guidance for businesses.

The nibusinessinfo.co.uk help and support for exporting section has a range of support available to new and established businesses to help them start trading successfully outside Northern Ireland.

How we can help

There is lots of support available to help you secure sales outside Northern Ireland.

Market research

Our Business Information Centre can provide free market and sector research reports and the Department of International Trade provides free Market Guides for UK businesses that are interested in selling overseas.

nibusinessinfo.co.uk

The nibusinessinfo.co.uk website provides detailed information and guides on selling outside Northern Ireland, both to neighbouring markets and further afield. These free guides cover topics such as choosing a market, procedures and licences and moving goods.

There are also resources to help businesses find funding and business-related training, workshops, networking, seminars and more from a range of stakeholders including councils, central government and the private sector to help you begin exporting.

International support and trade events

Invest Northern Ireland can provide hands-on support and mentoring for businesses wanting to sell outside Northern Ireland. We can support companies to participate in international trade events and our in-market teams can provide valuable insights and support to help you succeed in markets outside Northern Ireland.

Invest Northern Ireland may be subject to some eligibility criteria