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National Small Business Week: Cross-Border Selling Tips for Small Business Owners

  • May 2, 2017 | Avalara

This week we shared some tips for small business owners from Marshal Kushniruk, EVP and head of Avalara’s small business group. As we continue to celebrate National Small Business Week, here’s a look back at some advice from small business owners and from more of our experts at Avalara.

  1. In a Business News Daily article about sales tax for ecommerce and what small businesses need to know, Scott Peterson, vice president of U.S. tax policy and government relations at Avalara, shared three common mistakes small businesses make regarding their sales tax collection, including: 1. Failing to keep track of different rules for different states, 2. Reporting incorrect numbers and 3. Not filing because you didn't collect any tax. “We all make mistakes," said Peterson. "When you're a small business filing sales taxes, it's easy to do.” Read on to find out what small business owners need to know about sales tax for ecommerce and how to avoid these common mistakes.
  1. Liz Armbruester, vice president of compliance operations at Avalara, shared her tips for small business owners in dealing with post-Brexit uncertainty. For small businesses owners, especially ecommerce merchants already selling (or thinking about selling) to UK consumers, the anxiety lies with unknown costs: what happens when Brexit takes effect? What new regulations or tariffs will be imposed on trade? How will that affect landed costs (taxes + import tariffs + shipping charges) to UK consumers? Will that change a seller's supply chain, and if so, how?” Read on for Liz’s post-Brexit tips to help small business owners navigate the Europe of the future without losing their head in the present. – Small Business Computing, 5 Brexit Tips for Small Business
  1. In SmallBizDaily, Avalara’s landed cost expert, Amy Morgan, and Mark Houtzager, principal consultant at US VAT, Inc., shared their tips for doing business overseas. It’s no surprise that entrepreneurs are reluctant to access new markets overseas. There are challenges aplenty, and getting a clear picture of all costs associated with doing business overseas is a prerequisite for initiating any negotiation with foreign buyers. Every would-be exporter needs a strategy for getting imports right: who should take on import liability, what “landed cost” is, and how these elements impact the final cost of a transaction. Getting it wrong is a costly mistake that can turn a great business development plan into a costly and embarrassing failure.” – Shipping Overseas: The Import Process Reviewed
  1. Small business owner and Avalara customer, Barbara Karpf shared with CBS Small Business Pulse her tips for simplifying the drop shipping tax situation at her e-commerce business, DecoratorsBest. “Avalara manages and files all of those overwhelming sales tax forms. Now our one part-time bookkeeper is available for our office’s needs, and DecoratorsBest can staff up in the areas that help fulfill our customers’ needs and grow our company. Being in the e-commerce world, I am oriented towards finding software that creates efficiency and helps us grow. Our sales tax program with Avalara was one of the first programs that we implemented. It has saved us countless hours of laborious work and tremendous costs by reducing our staffing needs.” – Cutting Costs: Online Business Simplifies Drop Shipping Tax Situation

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India.