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Find the right market

Find the right market

Your checklist

Get to know your market and your customers thoroughly before diving in

Which market?

Understanding the business environment in your target export markets is an important part of doing business overseas. You'll find lots of practical information in the Department for International Trade's country guides.

These cover things such as:

  • The benefits of doing business in the market
  • Finding opportunities
  • Identifying potential challenges
  • Discovering routes to enter the market
  • Scoping out legal, tax and customs considerations

Get your 'Doing Business Guides' to European markets on the Institute of Export & International Trade website

Explore our resources and tips for researching international markets

Develop your approach to selling internationally by finding the right market information quickly and easily. 


Whether you intend to carry out your market research yourself or commission research from a third party, you should be clear what are the key questions you need to answer to:

  • Inform your export plan
  • Allow you to best respond to market opportunities in the EU
  • Minimise any risks or unnecessary costs

Ask yourself:

  • What do you need to know about doing business successfully in the EU markets you select? 
  • Is any certification required for your product, or how will you protect your product or service and any intellectual property you have in EU markets? 
  • Does my product require an export licence?

The EU is a Customs Union and as such no customs duties are paid on goods or services moving between EU countries. 

In terms of regulatory requirements for EU markets, most product and service sectors come under what are called “harmonised rules”. These set out common rules and regulations for goods and services across EU markets, including the UK. 

However, some products and services come under national rules and regulations, or may require a specific export licence for export if they are restricted goods. Best to check these for the product or service you intend to sell to the EU.

We've listed a number of online sources to help support your research.

Make the most of our free international market research service

Free research, within five days

Save time, money and effort by getting in touch with our dedicated market research team to delve deeper into Europe's market trends, customer behaviour and competitor activity.

We can provide a range of support to help you identify the right market opportunity for your product or service, including:

  • Market guides
  • Global market intelligence
  • Competitor insights
  • Credit rating checks
  • Industry trends and forecasts
  • Consumer demographics
  • Supplier databases
  • Live opportunities 
  • Finding the right partners and contacts

Talk to one of our international market research experts 

Search live opportunities to find out where demand is for your products and services

Live opportunities

Want to find out if there's demand for your product or service in the EU?

You can filter and apply for opportunities by country on our partner's dedicated website and sign up for tailored email alerts.

Search EU opportunities on the Exporting is GREAT website

Explore the Enterprise Europe Network database of over 8,000 innovation, research and business opportunities.

Search the Enterprise Europe Network

Talk to us to build your research into your export planning

If you've explored these resources but still need answers, then get in touch with our export advisers, we'll be happy to help out. 

It's easy to get lost in all the research, so have a chat through the export market research you've carried out with your export adviser.

This will help clarify what you need to know and identify any gaps so you can make informed decisions about the next steps to take.

Contact us

Ask our experts about preparing an export plan.


All information provided on this web page is for general guidance only. The contents of this guide have been provided by our training partners, Upper Quartile. Upper Quartile is not affiliated with any of the third parties or listings represented on our website. Third party listings are drawn from public domain and industry body data sources. Due diligence on a given third party or listing remains the exclusive responsibility of the end user. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the details represented, Upper Quartile and Scottish Enterprise cannot endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any transactions conducted between the user and a given third party or listing provided on this web page.