How Can a Customs Broker Benefit Your Small Business?

With the widespread trend of global e-commerce, import and export businesses now face fewer restrictions on importing and exporting goods. While that’s relieving, companies, both big and small scale, can’t deny the role of a customs broker.

A customs broker is an individual person or a firm licensed by the country’s customs department that acts as an intermediary between companies and relevant government agencies. Their main job is to ensure that a company’s shipments are legal and compliant with the local rules and regulations governing international trade. 

While you might consider handling the entire process yourself, the small factors in the paperwork can affect your imports and exports. And that’s what a customs broker takes care of. 

In this blog post, we will be discussing how a customs broker can benefit your import and export business. 

  • To Stay Legally Compliant

For businesses involved in importing, it’s crucial to stay legally compliant with all foreign laws and regulations, especially with the ever-changing regulations for importing different types of goods. From updated laws regarding your shipment to any change in the existing rules, such as tariff rates, a customs broker is the best person to keep you informed about the importing industry.

Besides, these professionals have connections that keep them on top of global politics. So, when you’re importing from another country, a customs broker will update you regarding any changes to trade compliance laws, new tariff rates & tariff exclusions, trade agreements with other countries, and more. 

  • Prevent Unnecessary Delays 

Since the import has complex regulatory requirements, a customs broker is updated on most regulations and hence can help your company avoid shipment delays. If your company fails to follow even a minor requirement, it could result in costly delays, penalties, extended storage fees, and confiscation. 

If you hire a broker, it’s their job to calculate all tariffs and duties, which, in turn, helps business owners and government officials to maintain accuracy. Moreover, they also ensure that your shipment has reached its recipient safely and within the estimated time. 

  • Handle all the Paperwork

One of the major reasons small businesses hire customs brokers is because they manage all the paperwork headaches on the company’s behalf. This is because the customs documentation process is quite complex and lengthy. Companies often fail to figure out minor things related to what rules will be applicable to their shipment. 

And these mistakes could delay your shipment by several months or even prevent its entry into foreign markets. Hence, when you work with a progressive customs brokerage firm, they will be responsible for filling out all the documents and submitting them to the relevant government authorities on your behalf. This saves the company time and allows them to work on other important business operations. Besides, if there are any repercussions of non-compliance, that will be handled by the broker. 

  • Improve Delivery Efficiency 

Another advantage of working with a customs broker is that your shipments will get cleared quicker through customs. While there are different factors that cause one shipment to get selected over another, what plays a major role is the importer’s reputation. So, when you work with a licensed customs broker, that naturally builds your reputation, enabling your shipments to get through customs easily. 

 These brokers are CBP partners (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), so when they help an importer with their shipment, that particular case is often analyzed with less scrutiny. Generally, brokers use their past record of successful & legal imports to be in the good books of CBP and hence, result in faster processing of the shipment. 

To Wrap It All Up

Whether you’re a small-scale business or a large enterprise, if you deal with international trade of goods, it’s advised to work with a customs broker. And if you’re new to the field, don’t risk it without the guidance of a reputed customs brokerage firm. Through their experience and expertise, your shipments will go through the inspection process securely, and that too, at the lowest cost possible. Not only do these professionals will help you with your shipment, but they offer other benefits too. 

They can work with you to strategize which markets are lucrative for your business and how you can explore new markets for trade. So, it won’t be wrong to say that licensed customs brokers can allow companies to expand their business and explore new trading opportunities. And while you hire a customs broker, make sure to consider factors like their reputation, their history of successful projects, and if they’ve ever worked with your specific commodity.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.