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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What specific programs can EXIM offer to minority and women-owned businesses (MWOBs)?
A:
 EXIM has a specialized group of business development specialists known as the MWOB team who work exclusively with minority, women, veteran, and disabled-owned businesses to educate them on understanding and qualifying for EXIM’s premier financing tools – export credit insurance and working capital loan guarantees. However, EXIM currently does not have a specific financing program or tool that provides certifications or financial enhancements for MWOBs.

Q: What are the main eligibility requirements to qualify for EXIM Support?
A:
 Small businesses meet basic eligibility requirements if they: (1) have been in business for at least a year; (2) have at least one person working in the firm full-time; (3) have a positive net worth; and (4) export products and/or services that have more than 50% U.S. content based on all direct and indirect costs (e.g. labor, materials, and administrative costs). To learn more about the full list of EXIM eligibility and regulations, download our Guide to Export Credit Insurance eBook(link is external).

Q: Is Export Credit Insurance cost-prohibitive for small businesses?
A:
 Depending on an exporter’s needs and risk exposure, costs may vary from $0.55 to $1.77 per every $100 of invoice value [1]. Our most popular product Express Insurance, for example, allows the exporter to pay $0.65 per every $100 of invoice value for credit terms up to 60 days. For a shipment of $10,000 to a foreign buyer, the premium due is just $65 ($10,000 x .0065). The best way to find out the exact costs for your business is to contact an EXIM export finance specialist directly(link is external).

Q: What deal size would make it worthwhile? Is my business too small?
A:
 No deal is too small. EXIM insures deals that range from a few hundred dollars to billions of dollars. For most policies, exporters pay premiums only on products that they ship, assuring that there are no lost premium dollars. For buyers of Multi-Buyer Insurance, there is also no minimum annual premium required. There are special policies for small businesses that offer up to 95% coverage against nonpayment by foreign buyers on short-term credit sales, with no deductible.

Q: Can you explain in simple terms why my business needs this insurance?
A:
 Export credit insurance allows exporters to manage risk and offer more attractive credit terms to their foreign buyers. At the same time, having export credit insurance unlocks more attractive financing options. Banks will often allow exporters to borrow against insured receivables that would otherwise be excluded from the borrowing base. Some exporters use EXIM’s export credit insurance to conduct due diligence on their foreign buyers. Before EXIM approves an export credit insurance application, the Bank assesses the credit worthiness of an exporter’s foreign buyers. Thus, if an exporter’s application is approved by EXIM, the burden of credit management decisions is effectively transferred to EXIM and the exporter can focus on core business operations. 

Q: My company provides a service, so we don’t have an actual “product.” Can EXIM help me?
A: Of course! The requirement is that the services be performed by U.S.-based personnel, either here in the U.S. or temporarily located in the host country. Progress billings must be in intervals no longer than 30 days, with payment terms allowed up to 60 days. Please note that EXIM does not cover contract repudiation (cancellation of the contract).

 Speak with one of our Business Development Specialists if you have more questions. For other general inquiries email us at: mwob@exim.gov

[1] Pricing examples for small business Multi-Buyer policies and Express Insurance.