Trade and export support

Expanding into new markets overseas can help businesses of all sizes to reach new customers, generate additional revenue and mitigate market risks.

We’ve brought together resources to help you navigate the trade support landscape including, the process to set up your export capability, where to access expertise and guidance and the financial support available to you.

Not sure where to start?

The LEP Business Support Service can help you navigate the trade support landscape. Email or call 0113 348 1818 to speak with one of our advisers. You can find more advice and guidance below.

  1. International marketing strategy

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UK-EU trade agreement

The UK and EU have agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement governing future trade relations that sees no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods produced between the UK and the EU. For information about how this affects your business and the support available, visit

Export finance and getting paid

As part of the Government’s Export Growth Plan, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched a £38 million Internationalisation Fund to help up to 7,600 small and medium-sized businesses in England grow their overseas trading and strengthen their business. Eligible businesses may be able to access up to 50 per cent grant funding for projects including market research, translation services, social media, trade fairs, independent market visits and consultancy services valued between £2,000 and £18,000.

The DIT and Enterprise Europe Network can also provide you with information about organised trade missions.

Companies looking to expand overseas may be eligible for grants, advice and other support from Exporting for Growth or UK Export Finance where finance is not available from the private sector.

Expanding overseas is not without risk, however to manage and mitigate this risk, you may be eligible for insurance by UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency. You can also find more information from your bank or your local Chamber of Commerce in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield or West & North Yorkshire.

Finding new markets and customers through export

If you’re new to exporting and want to know how to start selling goods and services abroad, you should speak to the Department for International Trade, which can help you to develop an export strategy, access training, and conduct market research. The Department for International Trade also has advice for companies looking to grow sales overseas through e-commerce.

You can also get in touch with ExportExchange, which provides a peer-to-peer mentor service for businesses in Leeds City Region to find someone with experience of selling internationally who can share their knowledge with you.

Understanding export rules and regulations

If you’re new to exporting, you may not be familiar with the rules and regulations of overseas trade. To find out about rules and regulations that apply in particular countries, speak to the Enterprise Europe Network. It can give advice and guidance on exporting to the EU and over 30 other countries outside the EU.

The Department for International Trade may also be able to assist in countries where they have a representation, as well as helping you understand if you need an export licence.

Dealing with paperwork and documentation

If you are shipping an order within the EU, the Enterprise Europe Network may be able to help you understand how to complete the relevant documentation. If the order is outside the EU, contact the local Chamber of Commerce in Calderdale, Kirklees & Wakefield or West & North Yorkshire.

The Department for International Trade may also be able to help you develop a future strategy for export and ensure your website is optimised for international sales.

Training and skills for selling overseas

If you are looking to sell overseas and want to train key staff, speak to the Enterprise Europe Network and Department for International Trade, who have complementary networks they can tap into to try to identify suitable partners. 

Product development for overseas markets and finding partners

If you are developing products for markets outside the UK, contact the LEP Business Support Service on 0113 348 1818 to find out what support is available. Enterprise Europe Network can help companies with new technology that want overseas partners to manufacture under licence or co-operate technically Enterprise Europe Network and Department for International Trade also have international networks of agents, distributors or partners that may be able to help.

Selling to China

China is a huge potential market of 467m+ online shoppers that could be a great opportunity for your business. We can provide advice and support on accessing that marketplace effectively. 

Selling to Hong Kong

Discover more about Hong Kong, the business gateway to Asia, local businesses who are exporting to Hong Kong and Asia, and the support available.