Includes typical use of agents and distributors and how to find a good partner, e.g., whether use of an agent or distributor is legally required.

U.S. companies are best positioned in Ethiopia when appointing a local agent to represent their products and services in Ethiopia. It is much easier when a U.S. company is represented by a local agent to coordinate agency questions and collect documents, market intelligence, and follow-up activities. Local partners help U.S. companies by providing customer support service, undertaking local market research, and obtaining customers feedback. Agents also facilitate the purchase of tender bid documents and provide payments for bid security and performance bonds. Local agents represent U.S. companies in government tender openings and in courts during litigation. Having a local partner is essential, as conducting business in some sectors is fully reserved for Ethiopians.

Ethiopia has a fully registered American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) as the AmCham Steering Committee signed a cooperative agreement with the Ethiopian Investment Commission in 2016. This agreement allowed the AmCham to formally form a registered AmCham in Ethiopia. At present, the AmCham has 41 active members, with members expected to reach 50 by the end of the year. The AmCham serves as an effective resource for U.S. companies wishing to do business in Ethiopia. In addition, local chambers of commerce and the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service are initial points of contact for U.S. companies wishing to partner with a local agent and do business in Ethiopia.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting