The given paper analyses the process of export initiation of Colombian companies towards the European Union. The first section intends to explain the theoretical background of internationaliza-tion and export initiation of enterprises. It describes forms and interpretations of internationalization as well as different foreign market entry modes, finally focusing on the main topic export. The main theoretical part looks at the results of different studies addressing the topic of export initiation, which comprises motives, barriers and triggers of export. To provide the reader with a general background there is also a section address-ing Colombia and its economy, its main social problems as well as the free trade agreement with the European Union. Finally, an empirical study among Colombian companies was conducted. The study focuses on two parts of export initiation. Firstly, it looks at the possible influ-ence of previous international experiences on export initiation towards the Euro-pean Union. Secondly, it studies the difference between the perception of barriers among companies that already export and those that still not export to the EU. Further aspects of the study are the importance of motives and export triggers for Colombian companies for exporting to the EU.