Apply for an export voucher and reduce your export-related expenses

The Washington State Department of Commerce’s Export Voucher Program provides direct cash assistance to qualifying small businesses to help them expand their international sales.
Flags from around the world representing exports

Export Vouchers, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), reimburses eligible export expenses up to $10,000, depending on the expense.

The following lists the eligible activities and reimbursement levels. If your business qualifies, you may receive up to the maximum allowed for that activity, or a lesser amount. Awards are granted based on committee review of your export voucher application.

Qualifying Export Expenses

  • Design of international marketing, digital advertising (voucher reimbursement up to $6000)
  • Website design, maintenance and international payment handling (voucher reimbursement up to $10,000)
  • Online market listing fees (voucher reimbursement up to $10,000)
  • E-commerce platform fees (voucher reimbursement up to $10,000)
  •  Expenses to set up a website to accept international payments ($10,000)
  •  Services of the U.S. Commercial Service
  •  International shipment of product samples (voucher reimbursement up to $4,000)
  •  Compliance requirements to enter an export market (voucher reimbursement up to $6,000)
  •  Export research tool subscription (voucher reimbursement up to $2,000)
  • Cost associated with international IP protection (limited to the following–USPTO PCT transmittal fee [up to $120], filing fee [up to $200], search fee [up to $1040]; Hague Intl Design App transmittal fee [up to $60], Trademark Madrid Protocol fee [up to $250])
  •  International business travel (airfare only)
  •  International trade show or trade mission fees (virtual or in-person)
  •  International conference or symposium fees (for sales development only)
  •  Foreign market sales trips
  • Translation of marketing media, including audio/video (voucher reimbursement up to $6000)
Read the guidelines for additional information.

Are You Eligible?

Qualifying companies must:

  • Be registered to do business in Washington State
  • Have a Federal Identification Number tied to a Washington address
  • Be in good standing with the Washington State Department of Revenue
  • Be a small business concern (SBC) as defined by SBA criteria, and meet other program criteria, such as being in business for at least one year and ability to demonstrate export readiness
  • Be exporting goods or services that have US origin or at least 51% US content. (ex-factory price of a good minus the aggregate value contributed by non-U.S. sources)
  • Submit an application at least one month before the planned export activity

Apply for an Export Voucher

Export vouchers are funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Links and Resources

Success Stories

More than 500 companies have used export vouchers to offset their exporting expenses. From mobile app developers and wakeboard manufacturers to remanufactured engine specialists and turnkey metalworkers, Washington State small businesses brought home more than $589 million in new export sales with assistance from this popular program, State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), funded through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Read Export Voucher Program success stories.

Need Help?

Nicole Gunkle
STEP Export Voucher Program
International Trade Specialist
Nicole.gunkle@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 206-256-6131