Know All About The Import and Export Business in India


Facilitating the trade of goods within domestic and foreign companies is an import and export business. If you want to join this lucrative business on your own, then read along. This article will help you with minute details of the business.

Trading has been there since the ancient ages when people started exchanging goods to get their needs from different people, different regions, or different countries. They started trading by exchanging ancient items like food crops, animals, or homemade items.

But modern days trading deals with modern items. And this creates a scope of import and export business worldwide. It’s the process of how we can get our favorite foods, cars, dresses, and most items from foreign countries.

Imports refer to goods, services, and products brought in their own country, while export refers to selling their own country’s products, goods, and services to other countries. Now we are going through a complex web of international trading which is basically a chain of exporting and importing. This whole system handles the sale, distribution, and delivery of goods from one nation to another. 

So if you are interested in this importing and exporting business industry and want to join this business on your own, then go through this article to get a clear idea of importing and exporting business.

This step-by-step detailed article will lead you to the various activities you need to do to start your own import and export business. Just undergo these processes, and stand your chance to rock the business.

How To Start Import Export Business In India

Here we are including a detailed step that will surely clear your doubts.

Getting a PAN Card

There are a lot of documents that are needed to start a business as well as import and export. One of the most important documents is a PAN card. You must have your own PAN card. It’ll work as your valid identity proof to start a business.

You have to register yourself with the income tax department with a PAN Card.

getting a pan card
Image Credit-

Select your Preferred Business Entity

You need to start making decisions on which type of exporting or importing you want to do. Then you must register your business and should give a name to your business of importing and exporting.

You can go for a partnership firm, a private limited company, or even a public limited company.

Create, Share, Collaborate

Work with your team in real-time. create documents together and share the same on Whatsapp, Gmail, etc.


Opening a Current Account

A businessman needs a bank account which is specifically a current account. You have to open a valid current bank account on any of the registered banks in India.

You have to complete transactions with the customers and vendors through this account. Documents will be varied depending on your business type.

Getting an IEC Code

The IEC code is a must-have for an import and export business. You need to fill-up the form to apply for an IEC code. The application form for the IEC code will be filed with the Director-General of Foreign Trade. 

Getting an IEC Code
Image Credits-

Choosing your Exporting or Importing Product

Choosing an exporting or importing product can be a master blaster for the import and export business. This product can be a key to taking off your business as high as possible. 

You need to keep in mind some variables such as the state of international markets, regulations, export trends, and many more. You can get these tips on several business-based websites, including google news. 

Choosing your Exporting or Importing Product

Also Read: How to Set up a Soya Milk Factory?

Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) 

Registration cum membership certificate i.e. RCMC is one of the most important documents that you need to have while starting your own import and export business.

India has already some export promotion councils which can give you access to business events and assistance that can help you to grow your business rapidly. Not just that, you can get access to certain benefits under India’s Foreign Trade Policy.

Available in 10+ Languages

Hindi, English, bangla, Urdu, Malayalam, etc. Now Work Comfortably in Your native language.


This RCMC is valid across India. It will take nearly a week to get the registration under the council.

Search the Market Right For It

When you are done with the above points, now you need to find a place where you can sell your products. You have to find a knack to get the idea of potential trading trends.

You have to conduct research work to find out a potential foreign market where you can get your potential buyers for the products. You can get a breakthrough in your business if you find a proper place to sell your products that also in foreign countries.

We would suggest you do your study for import and export business in globalEDGE’s “Market Potential Index” and The World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business”. Also, don’t forget to check the local government websites to go through the business resources.

These sources can help you to understand the products that are going from one country to another with how many values and social values.

Go for a Supplier

When you are determined to start your import and export business, you need to get a clear vision of the products that you are going to sell in the foreign markets.

You can go to manufacturers so that you can visit production on your own. You can find potential suppliers in Global Sources, Alibaba, and Thomas Register. These are the easiest ways to get access to the suppliers.

You can get more sites to get your suppliers. But these are best known for exporters, importers, high-quality suppliers, manufacturers, trade leads, buyers, and wholesalers.

go for a supplier

Also Read: How to Start an Atta Business in India

Pricing of Your Products

The most important step to getting into the export and import business is the pricing of the products. There are two steps that can be followed by you – firstly, Volume (number of units sold) and secondly, Commission on that volume.

You have to work on pricing in a way so that your commission will not exceed the customer’s budget and you will get your profit too. There is a standard in this import and export business.

10% to 15% markup over cost is taken by exporters and importers to get coverage of manufacturing price when you buy from the manufacturers of the products.

You will make, earn and gain more profit if you sell more. Keep in mind, your product’s pricing should be separate from the logistics charge.

Pricing of Your Products

Transportation for Products

When you are all set to sell your products to the customers, get ready to face the logistics- transportation of your products. You can choose a global transportation service that can serve all over the world to another warehouse from the factory door.

Your Data Is Safe As A House

With daily backups, we ensure your data is safe and secure whether you lose your phone or it breaks down.


You can save your time by hiring such a service at a reasonable price. If you are a newbie international businessman, then you have no need to get the hurdles of taking care of the products. On request, they can serve for moving documentation and much more reliable services.

You can get freight forwarders online in international business journals, business-related newspapers. You can go for at least two to three transportation services that will be perfect for your business.

We want to suggest two names that can help you as you are a newcomer in the importing and exporting business industry- Fed Express” and “UPS”.

Transportation for products

Providing a Trustworthy Customer Service

When you are dealing with your overseas customers, you must be the best in customer service. Your relationship with your foreign customers should be a strong trustworthy one. You should continue contacting your customers even after a deal has come to an end.

You can go for a follow-up with your customer after a successful business deal. They can give some suggestions or they can give the product’s feedback. 

You can go for a skype contact, or an email or telephonic conversation with your customer.

Also Read: How to start an NGO in India

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Import-Export a Profitable Business?

Import-export business is one of the most lucrative business ideas. There will be huge profits from this business. So with proper knowledge, you can go into this business.

How do I get Customers for my Export Business?

You can get Customers for my Export Business using these points-

– Conduct good high-level online research on international markets
– Try to invest in branding and promoting your business through websites
– You must be well-known in the local market
– Keep an eye on embassy fairs and economic changes in the local market.

What Documents are Required for Export?

A lot of documents will be needed to step into exporting and importing business. Such documents are:

– Air Waybill
– Bill of Lading and packaging
– Certificate of Conformity
– Certificate of Origin of the products
– Commercial Invoice for international business
– Dock/Warehouse Receipt
– Export License registered under government license
– Export Packing List

Is GST required for IEC?

As per the latest circular released by the Indian government, IEC is not mandatory for all traders who are registered under GST. But a PAN Card is a must-have document to be a certified trader.

How do you Promote Exports and Imports?

Whatever the business is, you have to promote your business in various ways. You can talk on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more. There are a few ways to promote your business of importing exporting, such as:

– Talk to the people who are buying similar products or may be interested in your products
– Go and buy a similar product yourself to create trust in people’s minds
– Attend trade fairs and seminars and talk to potential customers about your products and services
– Learn local customs which is very important


So finally you have learned how to start and continue your exporting importing business. You are ready to throw operational activities on your own export and import business.

In my opinion with the experience, you will be experienced in how to tackle the drawbacks and challenges you are facing through the journey.

You are ready to bloom and make your stand in the foreign markets as well as your home markets.

Download Lio App

About the author

Ashutosh Bhatt

Ashutosh joined Lio as the marketing manager and has played a significant role in our growth. A traveler at heart, you might just catch him on a flight to any exotic countries around the world when he isn't busy ranking websites.

Add comment