Hi everyone. I recently opened my business up in February and things are going absolutely fantastic. My first trade show is coming up in the middle of May, and I have been learning first hand the utter headache and turmoil of getting your goods to the USA to sell them. Now it seems my unpreparedness is really rearing its ugly head as, unless I am reading something incorrectly, I as a Canadian cannot sell my products there - Something devastating for someone who just shipped 28k worth of shirts and bandanas to the US
The information I've been given is the following:
Some methods of selling to the U.S. include:
· Taking orders from customers at trade shows or directly through e-commerce (online)
· Selling through a representative on a commission basis
· Forming partnerships with other retailers or distributors who will sell your products
You can not sell directly to customers while you are in the U.S. unless you have a work permit, are a dual citizen or hire a U.S. citizen to do the selling. However, Canadians can travel to the U.S. to attend trade shows, business meetings, perform market research, and negotiate contracts without a work visa
If I am reading this correctly, the information states that I may not, as a Canadian, sell the goods I am bringing into America through my setup at this trade show. I may only take orders for the items and ship them from Canada when I am back home.
In addition, if I am reading it slightly incorrectly, it seems that I can take online orders for the items, and hand them the product at the trade show.. But if this is the case, does that mean I cannot legally accept cash transactions?
Does anyone have any experience as a Canadian bringing physical product to an American trade show, and the eligibility of selling goods there? Because currently I am at a loss and really stranded - This will be the death of my business if I cannot sell at this trade show.
Thanks for your time!
You can sell your products at a trade show in the usa without a work permit. You only need a work visa and permit when applying for a job. You may need to have a business license depending on where the trade show is located at. You should be able to accept cash for you items but that really depends on the local laws that you need to look up. For example if the trade show is located in Baltimore MD USA all you would have to do is fill out the trade show application and the fee.