Distributors and export agents in the USA: how to find the right sales channels?

The United States: promising but competitive

Being the largest economy in the world, the US has a significant influence on the global market. With a big consumption market, diverse culture, and a developed economic system, the US is a tempting destination for many international businesses. Diversity is characteristic of the US market.

How to find your agent or distributor?

The United States of America (USA) has a population of 327 million. In 2018, 81% of the population lived in the cities. The average income per capita is almost 60,000 USD. This is promising to sell your goods, but you’ll have to know where to start. A state-by-state approach might be a good idea, or first to focus on some major cities.

If you speak English, the language does not seem to much a barrier. But the culture of doing business can be totally different then you expect. You need to present yourself well, and the first time should be right. A local agent or distributor can help you with that.

Alliance experts can find the right agent or distributor for you

Alliance experts helps companies with entering new markets profitably. In the United States we work from Miami and New York with experienced business development specialists. What would be the right approach for you would depend on the type of product:

B2B products, high value, small volumes One distributor or agent for the whole country may do, unless the sales process is complex and local service or maintenance is needed.
B2B products, high volumes For logistic reasons and if applicable for service and maintenance, you may choose for regional distributors
B2C products with regulations per state, like medicines and alcohol One distributor per state
Other B2C products You may start with one distributor first, who is the most eager to test the market for you. Later on you may choose more distributors and set up you local company and sales office to support them.

We have a clear and structured approach to find the best partner

We first want to know what kind of partner you are looking for. Based on your information, we make a long-list of 15-20 potential partners that fit your description. After your approval we find the right decision maker, approach him or her personally and share your business profile with them. This mostly leads to 3-5 companies who are suitable as your partner and interested in working with you. Once we have found these companies, we plan your meetings and accompany you during the first visits.


The USA: an innovation and technology magnet

  • The U.S. is the leading country in monetizing social media.
  • Especially the U.S. and China use E-commerce as an avenue for sales.
  • Shared economy
  • Technology is in demand to support the manufacturing industry.
  • With the help of the Internet, Big Data technology has led to the rise of smart machines.
  • Mergers and acquisitions are needed to acquire manufacturing technology.
  • Innovation and technology to be used for fundraising, establishing networks and forging partners.

Opportunities in the USA per region

New York

  • Consumer industries and real estate industries are at a benefit due to affluent, cosmopolitan consumers.
  • Financial capital of the world
  • Hub for media, social media, and innovation


  • Consumer industries and real estate industries would do good in this state with the same reason as in New York’s.
  • Logistics capital for US-Asia trade flows
  • Home for technology companies
  • Hub for start-ups
  • High tech manufacturing in the industries of aerospace, defence, match, and semiconductor equipment


  • Houston as the world’s capital of oil and gas industries.
  • Immigration of professional classes lead to:
  • Economic diversity
  • Opportunities for consumerism and real estate

North Dakota

  • Potential for oil and gas investments
  • Shale Boom
  • Primitive infrastructure that is very appealing to companies and real estate industries.


  • Life sciences capital of the world due to research and commercial clusters


  • Home to Boeing
  • Hub for global aerospace
  • Home to tech giants

Bring your budget to enter the USA market

The potential of the United States is huge, but competition is also strong. It may not be possible to find just one agent or distributor who covers the whole market for you, mostly you will have to work with one per group of states. Unless you can do business with one of the big retailers.

If you want to enter the market, bring your budget. You will have to go there and spend time. If you want our team or any other consultant to do a distributor search for you, think of 10,000 to 15,000 euro as a base fee. Your distributors will ask for marketing materials, perhaps advertisements, retailers will ask for slotting fees. So draft a proper business case and be prepared to invest in order to gain.

Alliance experts is happy to help you with your strategy to enter the USA market. Just contact one of our team members or click below.

I’m interested in finding an agent or distributor!
This entry in temporary was updated on November 18, 2021 by specialist.