How To Start Import And Export Business

How To Start Import And Export Business

23 January, 2024

The importance of imports and exports in the business world cannot be overstated. The global economy thrives on the exchange of foreign exchange between countries through export-import trade. When done efficiently, import and export business can be a lucrative career option for entrepreneurs. 

India is a massive country with a diverse target market. On the other hand, it is also home to unique products and services that have a strong demand overseas. Starting an import and export business in India is, therefore, a tempting proposition. Let us look at the basics of starting import and export businesses.

Starting an import and export business

Here are some of the common steps that must be followed to start any import and export business in India.

  • Set up a business:

    An export/import business can be a proprietorship, partnership, company, limited liability partnership, etc. The business must be registered with the Registrar of Firms or Companies or with such authority as applicable.

  • Documentation:

    The business must apply for an Import Export Code (IEC), Permanent Account Number, Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) from the concerned Export Promotion Council, registration on Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE), GST registration, etc.

  • Bank account:

    The business must open a Current Account with an authorised dealer code with a bank. HDFC Bank provides import-export-related banking services to its customers, including advance payments, bill collection, Letters of Credit (L/C), etc., along with Exim-related expertise and guidance.

Ideas for start-up import export business

Before carrying out these formalities, you are also expected to do some basic homework regarding your import-export business. 

  • You must identify the product you can import or export and the country(s) you want to do your business in. For example, it could be a plan to export Ayurvedic products to Italy or import toys from China

  • You must ensure that the items you are planning to import, or export are not prohibited in India or your target selling/buying markets

  • You must check the estimated transportation costs

  • You must understand the terms of business that will be in force with the overseas seller/buyer

  • You should also confirm with your bank about the availability of the financial services required to fulfil the business terms

Logistics in import and export business

Whether a start-up or an established business, logistics are an important part of the import and export business. In the case of products, the business must have a robust logistics process for seamless import and export. You have the option of handling the logistics on your own or outsourcing it to third parties. Businesses that are new to import and export may benefit from the expertise of the global freight forwarders/agents. 

Among the various arrangements required as a part of the logistical process are arrangements with the shipping company, marine insurance, licenses and permits, tariff and duty payments, and the handling and processing of shipping and customs documents.

Starting with trusted partners

Starting an import and export business while hiring a freight forwarder or logistics agent can ease your operational concerns. Similarly, choosing the right banking partner can help you save money and grow your business faster. With HDFC Bank, you get the best currency exchange rates across all leading global currencies. You also benefit from the expert assistance of HDFC Bank’s certified trade specialists. With the world as your stage, start your import and export business today!

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. HDFC Bank recognises the challenges entrepreneurs face while acquiring capital. Thus, HDFC Bank has created MyBusiness, a one-stop solution that gives you easy access to loans, digital solutions and provides you with the essential knowledge you need to run your business. With HDFC Bank MyBusiness, you can scale up, expand your operations, and nurture your business. Short Term Loan at the sole discretion of HDFC Bank Limited. Loan disbursal is subject to documentation and verification as per Bank's requirement. Interest rates are subject to change. Please check with your RM or closest bank branch for current interest rates.

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