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If you are planning to start an export business or are already running an export business, then you must know the procedures to set up or grow your export business in India.

An exporter needs to do the following mentioned to-dos for setting the desired export business in India.

1. Formation Of Business Entity:

The exporter of India can form any one Business Entity suitable to their needs such as

  • One Person Company
  • Private Limited Company
  • Limited Liability partnership
  • Public Limited Company
  • Others legal forms.

2. Brand and Legal Name Ownership/ Trademark Application:

An Exporter should create their brand value, hold legal ownership of their business name, symbol, logo and must apply for Trademark Registration.

3. GST Registration:

The Exporter Business Entity must obtain GST Registration Certificate.

4. MSME Registration to avail benefit of ZED Certification Registration (Only for Manufacturer) for MSMEs Exporters, it falls under Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises under MSME Act on voluntarily basis.

5. Import Export Code:

The Exporter must obtain the IEC (Import Export Code) to run the export business in India.

This is one of the most important requirements to get your import and export business started. IEC is required in all cases except in case of restricted or prohibited goods or services.

Documents Required for Import Export Code (IEC):

  1. Personal PAN card or Company PAN card
  2. Applicant's photograph
  3. Copy of a cancelled cheque from the business' current account

A PAN card is mandatory to get an IEC code.

6. Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC)

After obtaining the IEC, you need to obtain an RCMC granted by the concerned Export Promotion Councils to avail various benefits as exporter in India.

The certificate is issued for five years by the Export Promotional Councils or autonomous bodies in India.

An exporter desiring to obtain an RCMC has to declare his mainstream business in the application. This application would be submitted to the Export Promotion Council/ Commodity Board relating to that line of business.

Presently, 14 export promotion councils and 7 autonomous bodies from where you can get an RCMC issued.

Applicability of RCMC:

An individual applying for the purpose of:

  • An authorization to import/ export on restricted items
  • To seek benefits or concession under Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) like duty drawback, duty credit scripts, etc.

must apply for RCMC.

Few Examples:

Example 1: In case of Export Business of Leather, the RCMC can obtained by the Council  for Leather Exports.

Example 2: In case of Export Business of Agricultural Products and Processed Foods the RCMC can obtained by APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority).

7. Membership of Federation of Indian Export Organization:

The Federation of Indian Export Organizations represents the Indian entrepreneurs' spirit of enterprise in the global market. Known popularly as "FIEO", this apex body of Indian export promotion organizations was set up jointly by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and private trade and industry in the year 1965. FIEO is thus a partner of the Government of India in promoting India's exports.

An exporter, who does not wish to obtain the RCMC and claim benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy, can still be enrolled as a member of FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisation)  under its Individual Exporter Category.

Benefits of Membership Federation of Indian Export Organization:

1. Easy & Affordable credit rating: The Credit rating agency CRISIL gives 10% discount on credibility analysis services for FIEO exporters.

2. Global Reach: FIEO registration enables exporters to get useful guidance and international reach.

3. Export-Promotion Programmes: IEO registration allows the exporters to engage in the Export-Promotion Programmes like seminars, workshops & certification courses.

4. Subsidy on air-travel: One of the FIEO membership benefits is that the FIEO exporters get significant10% discount on all domestic & international air-tickets.

5. Many other benefits. ________________________


The Information provided is best to the knowledge  and understanding of the author as on date.

The Author is not liable for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

The author is a Practicing Company Secretary and can be reached at


Published by

(Practising Company Secretary)
Category Corporate Law   Report

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