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Export Voucher Program FAQs


Can a company apply for an export voucher after it has already attended and paid for an event or activity?

Applications for an export voucher will only be considered for events or activities taking place in the future.

Can a distributor who plans to purchase goods for export receive a voucher?

Vouchers may be approved for these companies if at least 51% of the product’s value-added (including R&D) is from the U.S.

What expenses related to a foreign market sales trip are not reimbursable with an export voucher?

Export vouchers may not be used to cover lodging, meals, in-country transportation including travel to and from the airport, or car rentals. These expenses may count toward the required company contribution of 25 precent of the total export voucher amount requested. 

Can a company that receives a voucher this year apply for another voucher in a future program year? 


If a company’s application for a voucher is denied, can it re-apply for a different event or activity in the same year?


Can an export voucher be used for more than one sales trip or trade show?


Can one trip with multiple stops qualify for an export voucher?

Yes, as long as the destinations are within the same general region of the world. The export voucher cannot be used to fund “around the world” tickets.

Can a voucher be used to cover the expenses of more than one employee?

No, unless the voucher is used to cover expenses related to a Commerce-supported trade show or mission. In this case, the voucher may apply to two employees.

Can a company use a voucher to attend an event it has attended in the past?

Unless the application clearly demonstrates that attendance would result in doing business in a new market (not just lead to new sales in an existing market), the application would be denied..

Can the export voucher be used to translate promotional materials?


Will a voucher cover translation services purchased overseas?


Can an export voucher be used to pay for advertising in foreign media?


Can the voucher be used to cover the costs of shipping samples for a trade show?

Yes, under most circumstances, up to a maximum $2000.

What is a Statewide Vendor Number (SWV#) and why do I need one?

The state of Washington requires vendors (which include Export Voucher recipients) to have a Statewide Vendor Number (SWV#) before they can be paid by any state agency. If the Department of Commerce approves your Export Voucher application, you will need a SWV# to receive reimbursement for your export-related expenses.

You do not need an SWV# to submit your application. If we approve your application, you can apply for an SWV# on the Department of Enterprise Services website. please wait for a Department of Commerce representative to contact you before registering for a SWV#.

To check whether your company already has a SWV#, use the Statewide Vendor Lookup Tool

What other financing options besides the Export Voucher program are available to help Washington small businesses?

Companies that meet the criteria for an Export Voucher may also be eligible for other Department of Commerce initiatives. These services leverage federal, state and private funding to increase small business access to capital that helps grow businesses and create new jobs.

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