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Gateway to Commercial Service Offices

Doing Business in the U.S.

  • Business USA BusinessUSA implements a "no wrong door" approach for small businesses and exporters by using technology to quickly connect businesses to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency's website, call center, or office they go to for help.
  • - Official website of the United States Small Business Administration. Web site’s focus is on small and medium-sized business, but much of the information is applicable to businesses of all sizes.
  • Insourcing - President Obama has put forward new ways to encourage American companies to seize this opportunity to increase investment here at home and bring jobs back to America.
  • Federal Laws and Regulations - Links and guides to help business owners understand their federal regulatory requirements.
  • State and Local Regulations - Step-by-step instructions for complying with state and local regulations when starting or running a business.
  • SelectUSA Contact List of State Designated Investment Officials [PDF]

Private Sector Business Guides

International Trade and Investment

  • BuyUSA.GOV is the U.S. Government's Commercial Service portal for companies wishing to locate U.S. Suppliers.  The site leads to separate areas for each listed country.  Each country page provides information on potential U.S. suppliers, suitable U.S. trade shows to visit, special programs, and local contacts.
  • – The U.S. Government’s Official Export Assistance Portal. Find free export counseling, market research, trade leads, solve trade problems, and trade finance assistance.
  • Webinars on the Basics of Exporting
  • Import Assistance and Information – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is the lead agency in enforcing regulations regarding the importation of your potential shipment and charging the appropriate duties and taxes.  U.S. Customs handles all importing related questions and issues associated with bringing products into the United States.
  • Import Tariff Schedule - For information regarding import tariffs consult with the U.S. International Trade Commission  web site and click on "Tariff Schedule." Local Customs Offices an also be contacted for import information. The country of origin of the goods ultimately determines which rate should be used for the importation. A comprehensive listing of U.S. Customs offices and contacts is available on the U.S. Customs  website.
  • Organization for International Investment
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Protecting Intellectual Property (IP)

  • How to Protect Your Intellectual Property in the U.S. and Abroad
  • Government Agencies Aiding IP Enforcement
  • Global Partners Aiding IP Enforcement
  • Business Tools for IP Enforcement
  • USPTO Inventors Assistance Center (IAC) - Provides patent information and services to the public. The IAC is staffed by former Primary Examiners, Supervisory Patent Examiners, and senior patent managers who answer general questions concerning patent examining policy and procedure.
  • IP Help for Independent Inventors and Small Business - The Independent Inventors section of the USPTO web site provides information on programs to assist independent inventors and small businesses in registering their IP. The Inventor Assistance Program is part of the Office of Commissioner and offers bi-monthly online chats for inventors and small businesses. A panel of experts from across the USPTO answer question for one hour every other month.
  • List of Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) - Patent and Trademark Resource Centers are a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries that are designated to disseminate patent and trademark information and to support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public.  They make freely available to the public a minimum 20-year backfile of U.S. patents and are available to assist the pubic in the efficient use of the collection.  The intellectual property collections of some libraries significantly exceed the core requirements. All libraries have access to U.S. patents since 1790.
  • Public Search Facility at USPTO - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Public Search Facility located in Alexandria, VA provides public access to patent and trademark information in a variety of formats including on-line, microfilm, and print. Trained staff are available to assist public users.
  • Copyright Office - The United States Copyright Office is a part of the Library of Congress and administers the registration and rulemaking for copyrights in the United States.