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International Partner Search (IPS)

To help U.S. companies find local partners in Portugal, the International Partner Search (IPS) provides a report on up to five qualified potential overseas representatives who have examined a U.S. company's materials and have expressed an interest in the company's products or services.


An IPS report contains:

  • the names and addresses, including e-mail and/or website addresses, of prospective overseas companies or representatives
  • the name and title of the key contact person(s) at each overseas company and their telephone number, and fax and e-mail addresses
  • the language preferred by the overseas company for correspondence
  • each prospect's opinion on the market for the client's product and/or service and the projected success of an agreement, licensing arrangement, joint venture, or other strategic partnership
  • the Commercial Service specialist's opinion on the overseas contacts' level of interest in the U.S. company and the overall suitability of the identified companies and/or representatives
  • the competition from local firms and/or from a third country, if any
  • basic marketing information, such as the size of the company and the number of years the overseas company has been in business, will be provided. At the client's request, and at additional cost to the client, additional marketing information will also be provided.

Delivery Time

The IPS report will be delivered within 30 days from receipt of payment and of the requisite U.S. company's information at the overseas Commercial Service office, preferably in electronic format.
In the rare event that an overseas Commercial Service office cannot deliver the IPS report within 30 days, that office will inform the client of the reason for the delay and the proposed new date for delivery of the IPS report.

Negative IPS Report

Occasionally, overseas firms contacted may not be interested in the U.S. company's offer. In these cases, the Commercial Service office conducting the IPS will return a "negative" IPS report. This report will include information on the marketability of the client's product or service, such as regulatory, trade, competitor and/or other factors that may prohibit or limit sales prospects in the relevant market. The report will also include the contact information on each overseas company or representative contacted.

U.S. Commercial Service Quality Assurances

The U.S. Commercial Service assures that:

  • the overseas commercial specialist receiving the request will immediately contact the company ordering the IPS to ensure that he/she has a complete understanding of the client's product, service, license, joint venture or strategic alliance/partnership
  • the domestic or overseas trade specialist will carefully screen each U.S. client to determine the client's suitability for the IPS in the relevant market
  • the domestic trade specialist will obtain advance approval from the overseas commercial officer or specialist for all expedited IPS requests
  • the overseas commercial specialist responsible for preparing the report will conduct a telephone interview with an overseas company if that company is known to the trade specialist; if the company is not known to the specialist, he/she will visit the overseas company
  • the domestic or overseas trade specialist will serve as client's primary point of contact and will respond in a timely manner to all client inquiries
  • the domestic or overseas trade specialist who takes the order will follow-up with the client to ensure satisfaction with the IPS report, focusing on its relevance, timeliness, and accuracy.

Client Responsibilities

  • provide timely responses to email and/or other queries from the domestic or overseas commercial specialists working on the search
  • transmit client materials to the relevant overseas Commercial Service office via e-mail, a website address, courier, or overnight express mail
  • contact the host-country companies or representatives identified in the IPS within 15 business days of receipt of the IPS report to initiate further discussions. Successful IPS searches can only be assured through effective follow-up on the part of U.S. clients

If you want more information or if you would like to set up an International Partner Search, please contact us or your Export Assistance Center.