Selling into the EU

Scottish trade in the EU

Scotland sells around £12 billion worth of products and services to the European Union each year, and this figure is growing. At more than 40% of Scotland’s exports, Europe offers a major marketplace for Scottish business.

With 500 million consumers, long-established trading relationships and inter-dependent supply chains across all sectors, the opportunities for Scottish companies will continue after the UK's exit from the EU.

Whether your business currently exports to the EU, or you’re a company looking to start exporting to Europe for the first time or build on occasional sales, we can help to ease your journey and grow your sales to our closest and largest market.

Our expertise and connections are far-reaching, with dedicated staff based throughout Europe to plug you into influential business networks.

How we can help your business

Connect with us and our services to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunities offered by our neighbours and important trading partners in Europe.

We can help you:

  • Get ready to sell overseas and create an export action plan
  • Research markets and choose the best ones for you
  • Find the connections you need and the right route to market
  • Source funding to support your exports
  • Navigate the practicalities of getting paid, shipping and logistics 
  • Visit potential markets, partners and customers

Keep reading to discover more about our EU services and what Brexit might mean for your business. 

Benefits and advice

Why do business with the EU?

Legislation has made it easier, faster and more cost-effective to do business across the 27 EU states. However, you should seek advice to clarify your tax status when doing business in the EU.

Get your guide  to doing business in the EU

One-to-one support

You don't need to travel far to increase your sales worldwide. Our team of export advisers could be your greatest asset. Our export advisory service is free to any company based in Scotland.

Ask an export adviser about doing business in the EU

EU opportunities

Find out if there's demand for your product or service in the EU

Search and apply for opportunities by country on the UK Government's website and sign up for tailored email alerts.

Search EU opportunities   on the exporting is great dot gov dot uk, website

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

Search the Enterprise Europe Network

Research and prioritise markets

Tips for researching EU markets

Develop your approach to selling internationally by finding the right market information quickly and easily. We've listed a number of online sources to help support your research.

Get your guide  to researching international markets

EU market trends and insights

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

Find out more  about our international market research service

Get your market guide

How well do you know your market?

Within the EU, the Netherlands is Scotland's largest export market (£2.3 billion), followed by France (£1.8 billion) and Germany (£1.8 billion). Want to find out more about doing business in these markets? Get your guide on the Department for International Trade's website:

  1. Netherlands guide  on the GOV.UK website
  2. France guide   on the GOV.UK website
  3. Germany guide   on the GOV.UK website

Browse all European country market guides on the GOV.UK website

If you've explored these guides but still need answers, then get in touch with our export advisers.

Ask an export adviser  for advice on European markets

Spotlight on Nordic markets

Watch our webinar to uncover fresh opportunities to grow your business in the Nordic region markets of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

Talk to our market experts

Skills and training

Get ready to do business in the EU

Learn how to fully prepare your business for investment and expansion in EU markets. Get practical advice from our leading trade experts to help you develop an export plan for success. 

Find out more about preparing to do business in the EU

Save time by learning online

Make your export journey less risky, more profitable and more sustainable with ExportSavvy – an online step-by-step guide to develop the right skills and know-how to grow your business abroad.

Read more in our blog about developing the right skills and know-how to grow your business abroad

Shape of Things in Europe

Jamie Tetsill is the founder of Shapes of Things, a fashion start-up based in Glasgow. The company designs clothes and accessories for the kidswear market. 

The company is already present in a number of overseas markets and recently secured distributors in the Benelux region with the aim of expanding further in Europe. 

Jamie has received significant ongoing support from Scottish Enterprise over the years. This has ranged from receiving partial start-up funding to actually form the company, as well as subsequent funding to help them develop their website. 

But critical to all of this has been the underlying support provided by our free international market research service to help them understand the issues, challenges and opportunities available in target markets. 

Jamie first used the service three years ago when he was writing the business plan for Shapes of Things: “I needed to find out facts and stats on trends and top stores in a range of countries”. The service gave him fully-funded access to expert researchers and subscription databases that provided just what he needed.

More on Jamie's story

Jamie Bruski Tetsill, founder of Shapes of Things

"The market research service has helped me with the early development of my business plan and helped me scope the direction I was going in. It's really good for this export journey I'm on at the moment...I'm starting to use it a lot more."

Jamie Tetsill , Shapes of Things

Scottish business and Brexit

Your business and the EU Referendum

Find out how the result of the EU Referendum could affect your business activities and what support is available.

Go to mygov.scot website  to find out how the EU referendum could affect your business, and what support is available

Ask your Brexit questions

If you have questions about how outcome of the EU Referendum may impact your business, you can ask questions using our form.

Go to mygov.scot website  to ask your Brexit questions