Entering the world of import-export business in India for a new entrepreneur is a challenging task. Additionally, they might have thousands of questions like how to start import-export business in India, the documents required, and the legal registrations.
With this step-by-step guide, we at StartEazy aim to guide you with the various tasks you need to do to kickstart your business.
India is the eighth largest global exporter and tenth largest global importer.
Therefore, here is the list of products that are widely exported from India:
There are 5000+ import-export companies in India. Therefore, choose your industry wisely and research properly before making any decision.
Moreover, international trading is not for everyone. If you are sales-phobic, afraid of making sales pitches and waiting for things to happen, this is not for you.
But, if you are a passionate person who ticks all the following traits, then international trading can be your game-changer career:
After choosing an industry, the crucial decision is what type of import and export you will do.
Export Management Company - It is a foreign or domestic company that works as a sales agent or distributor for domestic exporters and the global market.
Export Trading Company - These companies provide support services to the exporting firms. The services include - warehousing, shipping, insuring and billing.
Import-Export Merchant - They are basically free agents and do not specialize in any specific product line. Instead, they purchase goods directly from either domestic or international manufacturers. After that, they merchandise the goods in their brand name and resell them.
The next step is researching the industry you chose and coming up with a feasible growth plan.
For this purpose, you will want to know some in-depth details of the following:
After researching all the necessary facts, formulate a good plan.
Define the purpose of your business, business activities, budget, and business name.
After that, figure out Who will be the owner or owners of your business? How much will each partner invest initially? What will be the authority and power-sharing ratio? What are your long-term goals?
Once you have all of this ready, follow the next steps.
Registering your import-export business is crucial to starting your operations.
You cannot deal in the international market without legal recognition in your country.
Therefore, choose the business structure and get your import-export business registered.
You can choose from the following structures:
If you are unable to decide what is right for you, get in touch with our experts by filling out the form on the right. We will assist you with what is best for you by understanding your case in detail.
After registering your firm, you will have to apply for these mandatory licenses for import and export:
Import Export Code
It is a key business identification number mandatory for conducting imports or exports from India unless specifically exempted.
One can either apply directly on the official website of DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) or take help from an expert to ease the process.
The validity of the IEC code is that of the firm. In other words, it has unlimited validity. Thus, it does not need any renewal.
You may have heard that "you need money to make money".
It is true, you will have to invest in your business first to earn profits from it later.
With this in mind, the startup cost for an import-export business will depend on the industry you choose and the scale of your business.
However, you will at least need a minimum of Rs. 1 - 2 Lac to at least stand your business in this industry.
Accordingly, you can self-fund yourself or even look for the following options to secure some funds:
Further, here is a comprehensive list of expenses in an import-export business:
The next thing is finding a location and setting it up according to your purpose.
As this is not a retail business, you will not need a crowded area.
Instead, you will have to find a space with a good storage area and set up machines for packing and labeling.
You will need an area of around 100 sq ft to set up the office and around 400 - 500 sq ft for storage and machines initially.
Find the vendors and negotiate the deals.
Once you have a good deal with quality products and after-sale services, finalise it and source the inventory.
The next is customizing it and merchandising it on your brand name.
Now, store it and work on getting your "First Order".
Till here, we talked about how to start import-export business in India. Now, we will discuss how to get your first order and keep your business running in the long term.
You can of course not go to every shop in each country to tell them about your product and take orders.
Here the biggest help you can get is from taking your business online.
After you have an online presence, dive into the digital world to find your customers.
You can also send samples to your potential customers. Moreover, do not forget to attend Trade Fairs and exhibit your product.
Besides, you can even list your products on e-commerce market places such as Amazon.com and Etsy.