Credit advice

Selling overseas is one of a number of paths open to business to enable growth. Sustained success in exporting can bring your business a wide range of benefits including:

  • Higher turnover and profits;
  • Economies of scale due to increased volumes; and
  • A more competitive edge

However, many small and medium sized firms are often deterred from exporting due to credit management concerns. These are usually centred on worries about getting paid, how best to manage the invoicing and collection process, language barriers and different business cultures.

It is important that all businesses minimise their exposure to late payment and bad debt and seek out specialist advice. Some of the resources provide valuable background information on the cultures and payment practices of other countries, as well as risk information so that exporters can weigh up the benefits versus risks of entering new markets.

Sources of help

UK Trade & Investment
Provides country overviews, including key facts, economic situation, and an overview of doing business with that country. These are written by expert staff based in the Embassies, High Commissions and Consulate Generals in each country and are available free of charge.

UK Trade & Investment also provides details on forthcoming trade and investment events in each country, useful trade and investment websites and other useful information. It is possible to register for email alerts.

UK Trade & Investment has more than 40 offices throughout the UK with advisers who are expert in doing business overseas. Details of the office locations are on the website.
A free resource for businesses looking to trade overseas. This site includes country rating, insolvency trends, major macro economic indicators, means of payment and collection methods, payment incidents index and risk assessments for over 160 countries worldwide.

Credit Services Association
Collection agents based abroad can provide trace and recovery services in the country where the debt is outstanding. For information on how to select a suitable collection agency, visit the website at