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How to Start Your Export Business in India: Unlocking Opportunities


Expanding horizons and tapping into global markets is a dream shared by many entrepreneurs and businesses in India. The process of selling products and services from one country to customers located in another is known as an Export Business. In a world interconnected by trade, venturing into the export business can open doors to a world of opportunities. 

In this article, we will guide you through the steps and considerations on how to start an export business in India, taking you one step closer to realising your global ambitions.

Advantages of Export Business

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of starting an export business in India, let’s explore the advantages it offers:

Market Expansion: Exporting allows businesses to reach new markets and expand their customer base globally, reducing dependence on a single market.

Increased Profitability: By reaching a larger customer base, businesses can take advantage of economies of scale and potentially access higher margins in different markets.

Growth Opportunities: International markets provide growth opportunities, particularly for companies that have saturated their domestic markets.

Competitive Advantage: Entering foreign markets can give businesses a competitive edge by offering unique products, leveraging technological innovations, or capitalising on cost advantages.

Economies of Scale: Exporting can help businesses achieve economies of scale in production, leading to cost efficiencies and improved profitability.

Diversification: Exporting allows businesses to spread risks across multiple markets, making them more resilient to economic fluctuations.

Steps to Start Export Business in India 

Now that we understand the benefits of export business let’s delve into the essential steps to start an export business in India.

Market Research

The first step in starting an export business is thorough market research. This involves:

  • Identifying target markets.
  • Analysing market size and trends.
  • Assessing your competition.
  • Evaluate how well your product or service meets the needs of your target audience.
  • Determining a pricing strategy that ensures profitability while remaining competitive in the target markets.

Choose a Product

Selecting the right product is a critical decision. Consider the following factors:

  • Choose a product with significant demand in the market.
  • Identify products that offer a competitive advantage.
  • Select a product that complies with international quality standards and import regulations in the target market.
  • Find a product with a favourable balance between production cost and potential selling price.

Business Registration

To start an export business in India, you must register your business. Key considerations include:

  • Selecting a unique and suitable business name.
  • Applying for a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
  • Obtaining a Director Identification Number (DIN).
  • Preparing the necessary incorporation documents based on your chosen business structure.
  • Applying for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) from the Income Tax Department.
  • Registering your export company with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.

Obtain an Import-Export Code

To conduct export business in India, you must obtain an Import-Export Code (IEC) from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). This code is crucial for facilitating international trade.

Identify Suppliers and Buyers

Establish relationships with reliable suppliers who offer high-quality products at competitive prices. Simultaneously, identify potential customers in your target markets through trade shows, online platforms, or by contacting importers. Building a strong network of suppliers and customers is essential for success.

Product Packaging and Quality Standards

Ensure that your products adhere to global packaging standards and quality specifications. Comply with any specific labelling or certification requirements imposed by the target market.

Logistics and Shipping

Plan for the transportation and shipping of your products. Choose the most suitable mode of transport (air, sea, or land) based on factors such as cost, type of goods, and required delivery time.

Understand Export Documentation

Familiarise yourself with the necessary export documentation, including shipping documents, commercial invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin. Ensure compliance with the customs laws and documentation requirements of the target country.

Export Financing and Insurance

Explore export finance options, including export credit insurance, bank loans, and government programs. Analyse and manage the risks associated with international trade by considering insurance as a loss prevention measure.

Customs and Legal Compliance

Adhere to export laws, including customs procedures, trade restrictions, licensing requirements, and taxation or tariffs. Seek expert guidance if necessary to navigate the complexities of international trade regulations.


Starting an export business in India requires dedication, determination, and continuous learning. Staying updated on market trends, industry regulations, and global business standards is essential. Seek guidance from experts, export promotion organisations, and trade consultants to build a solid foundation for a prosperous export business.

By following these principles and maintaining a customer-centric approach, you can set the stage for a successful export business in India. The world is your marketplace; it’s time to embark on your global journey.



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