How to start an export business

Are you searching for the flower export business plan sample template? Find here a comprehensive flower export business plan for your ready reference.

Flowers are highly perishable items. Therefore, the flower demands high-quality post-harvest management including packaging and storage. Different types of cut flowers exporting is a profitable business. However, there are several aspects you must consider before starting the business.

If you are living in a high-quality flower growing area then only you can consider starting this business. In addition, you must identify the potential overseas markets for those specific flowers.

Generally, you can start a flower exporting business in two ways. In the first option, you buy the flowers from the growers and sell them to your clients at your own price. In another option, you sell the flowers directly from the growers. And you enjoy a certain amount of transaction fees.

The first option demands substantial capital investment and a large infrastructure. Definitely, you can earn more profit here. On the other hand, the second option demands small capital investment and also offers small profits. If you are an absolute beginner in this business, it is better to start with the second option.

Flower Export Business Step-by-step Guide

1. Market Research & Business Plan

In starting the flower export business, this is the most important aspect. First of all, identify the flowers that you can procure locally. Additionally, identify the potential foreign markets for those specific flowers. Figure out the rates. Generally, the export industry is highly organized. Therefore, you can obtain data and information thoroughly.

The important floricultural crops in the international cut flower trade are the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, gerbera, gladiolus, gypsophila, Liatris, nerine, orchids, achillea, anthurium, tulip, and lilies.

Apart from flowers, there are several floriculture products that have huge export potential. The list includes bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, cactus, mushrooms spawn, unrooted cutting, plant for tissue culture, etc. Some of the major importing countries are the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates.

After having all the data and relevant information, craft a detailed business plan. Mention business objective, executive summary, mission, and vision. Clearly, determine the financial plan and marketing plan. A detailed business plan helps in arranging finance also.

2. Licensing For Flower Export Business

In starting this business, you will need to obtain different types of permissions and licenses. And the licensing procedure hugely depends on the location where you are starting the business. Additionally, you will need to identify the upcoming tax liabilities also.

3. Flower Export Procedure

After choosing your export product as a Cut flower, roots, bulb, plants other live trees, send the samples to your clients. Additionally, send the terms of payment and terms of delivery. After getting a positive reply you must send other terms and conditions. When you receive an export order for Cut flower, roots, bulb, other live trees followed by a purchase order from your overseas buyer, send a proforma invoice.

Generally, the mode of payment plays an important role in this business. You can get payment in two ways. Either as an advance payment or as LC (letter of credit). If you have a good credit score, then you can arrange the finance from the bank for the export order. Additionally, you must arrange the insurance to avoid the risk involved in transit.

After quality check (QC), you will need to arrange proper packing with Palletization or Crating. Additionally, you will need to determine the type of container according to the specific product. Then you will need to prepare the documents like export invoice, export packing list, certificate of origin (GSP – Generalized System of Preference), and other documents. After completion of export customs clearance either by the exporter or his Customs broker, the carrier will issue the Bill of Lading or AWB.

4. Flower Export Business Operation

According to your business model, you will need to build the infrastructure. However, the business is all about getting convertible leads and procuring the flower as per client specifications. Therefore, you must have a commercial office space for operating the business.

Additionally, you must have a computer, internet, and telephone connection with an international calling facility. You can also consider having some business tools like accounting software etc. In addition, you must hire some experienced manpower for smooth operations.

In starting this business, don’t establish the packaging and storage infrastructure. It is always advisable to start flower export by hiring this facility. As your business grows, you can scale up at any moment of time.

5. Flower Export Business Promotion

You must promote your business. And there are several ways for that. First of all, take the membership of the export associations of your area. Attend the export-import fairs. give advertisements on the export and floriculture-related magazines. In addition, online marketplaces are great options for advertising your business.

Make your company available on the online export classifieds. Additionally, create your own website. Clearly mention the products you deal with, contact number, and address. Include a blog on your website.

Basically, networking is the most important of promoting flower export business. You must establish a solid business network to get quality leads.

How to start an export business


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If you like working with people from different cultures, are detail oriented and enjoy selling, then running an export business might be the job for you. Exporting is a good way to expand your domestic linen business and increase sales and profits. If you are just starting a linen business, exporting is also a good entree into the world of international trade. Follow a few important guidelines to make your move into the linen exporting business as smooth as possible.

Identify the range and type of linen products you will offer through your business. For example, products in heavy demand globally include table linens ranging from runners and napkins to tablecloths. High-demand products also include bed linens ranging from sheets and pillow covers to duvets and bedspreads.

Select your business name. Comply with the business entity laws of the state, county and city where your business is located. Register your business and obtain a tax identification number from your state. Exporting requirements and restrictions vary from country to country. For example, the U.S. bans or sanctions the export of many goods to countries it has a political conflict with, such as Iran and North Korea. Contact the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security for licensing requirements and information on exporting restrictions. For information on the rules other countries have regarding exported U.S. goods, go to You will find the specific requirements for establishing a linen export business in your chosen market.

Set up your office space. A small space in your home, specifically set up for your business, is efficient and cost effective. Start simply with a phone line with voice messaging capabilities, a filing system, business cards and company letterhead. Add additional equipment, such as a printer, copier and fax, as your company grows and doing so makes financial sense. You do not need to absorb the cost of a warehouse or additional employees if you have the linen products shipped directly from your supplier to your buyer’s warehouse.

Create a company website. Include information about your linen company, clearly stating what you do and outlining your company mission. Provide specific product information, including photographs, descriptions, colors offered and prices of individual products. Set up a contact page that includes your mailing address, phone numbers, fax number and email information; as well as a contact form that lets customers email you directly from your site.

Find the right market for your linens., in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, helps provide global matchmaking for exporters and global buyers. The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), an export trade development association, provides “new exporter” information such as helping you locate and choose export agents, export management companies (EMCs) and export trading companies (ETCs). The American Association of Exporters and Importers, a trade association, offers its members current information, education and training on different topics of global exporting and serves as an advocate for the exporting/importing industry.

Contact several wholesale linen suppliers and compare their prices to determine your choice of supplier. Start with local suppliers, if possible. Find additional potential suppliers through the Organic Trade Association and Open Directory Project online. As a new business, estimating sales volume is difficult because you have no history. However, you can research industry trade journals or search online for average annual sales volume of linen exporters. Check the U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade data to find sales and pricing information of established export businesses that are close in size to yours. Finally, establish your prices based on your cost of wholesale goods, your estimate of anticipated sales volume, and profit margins of 10% to 20%. Price your product high enough that you turn a profit but not so high the price exceeds what the customer is willing to pay.

Establish an export agent in your target markets to facilitate transactions and act as a middleman between you and potential foreign customers. Go to to find information on trade leads in your target markets. Contact officials there to find screened leads through embassies and consulates. Plan on paying a commission for an export agent’s work.

Ship your linens through a global freight forwarder, such as DHL. Look online for freight forwarders and contact several to obtain shipping specifics for your business. Freight forwarding services handle the logistics of international shipping, making your job a little easier.

How to start an export business

In recent times, we have seen a major growth in the export and import of goods and services in India. Seeing this change, more and more entrepreneurs or startups are venturing into this area. But many jump in without weighing the pros and cons and rather than laughing their way to the bank, it turns into a nightmare experience.

So how do you know if your venture is ready to enter the import/export market? Here are some things you need to have in order.

Getting started

Set up

First and foremost, you must have a business setup. It is recommended you open a sole proprietorship in the initial stage by taking a Service Tax registration or a VAT registration with an attractive name and logo.

Obtain a PAN card for the business

Once you have received the required registration, it is mandatory to have a PAN card issued by the Income Tax Department.

Open a current account

After receiving your business registration and PAN card, you need to open a current bank account with any commercial bank exclusively for your business.

Get the Import Export Code (IEC) issued

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.

Import Export Code (IEC) registration can be obtained by applying online at the DGFT website.

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 and only one IEC is allotted per PAN card.

Obtaining the Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC)

After obtaining the IEC, you need to obtain an RCMC, granted by the concerned Export Promotion Councils to get authorisation to import and export, or for any other benefit.

There are around 26 export promotion councils from where you can get an RCMC issued.

After getting the IEC and RCMC issued, you can set up your import and export business from India. The IEC and RCMC issued is valid for all branches or business premises across India, and it takes only between five and seven days to get all the registrations done.

Opportunities available with exporters

The import and export of goods or services is an integral part of a country’s economy, and a country cannot grow without interacting with other parts of the world. And, as mentioned above, after getting into import and export, there are many avenues one can explore. Some of these as noted below:

  1. Exploring online marketplaces You might have heard about,,,, and many more online marketplaces that allow an exporter to enlist as a vendor on their sites and let him or her connect with customers across the globe.
  2. This time, the internet is acting as a bridge for the exporters to export their product to customers sitting thousands of kilometres away.
  3. Exploring international marketsAs each country has unique resources that can be exported, it needs to import certain resources. You need to explore what you can export to the needy country and in exchange what you can Import.

For example, if you want to do a trade in agricultural equipment, you can go for Brazil, which is the best in producing agricultural processing equipment. China is famous for electronic equipment, India’s most exported product in 2015 was gems and precious stones, which accounted for 14.7 percent of the total exports

3. Exploring the products opportunities

It does not mean that if you are exporting an Indian-made product to the world, you can’t import a high demand item to India from abroad. There are several product opportunities that one can look into. Here are some of them:

Leather products: India has a held a strong position from years in exporting leather products like wallets, belts, toys, and handbags, and a large number of small and medium-sized companies are already doing this business successfully. Medical appliances: India is now emerging as a major supplier of medical appliances in the world, and because of the quality and reliability, manufacturers are establishing a reputation. Some of the medical appliances exported from India are gloves, gauzes, bandages, face masks, and much more.

Tobacco import: A major part of the revenue for the Government of India comes from the export of tobacco only, and this tobacco also becomes the major part of import of Indian economy.


While coming up with an idea costs nothing, executing and materialising is what will create a lucrative business. Import and export of goods and services will always be an encouraging business, and will always help in opening up new avenues for you and for your country.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

Starting your own agriculture export business can be very lucrative, depending on how you manage it.

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Whether you are new to this industry or not, expect that you can easily understand its managerial method and strategies.

Many small growers in agriculture tend to expand their business through export business. Exporting good is a good strategy to expand a particular business. Before exporting, you should better make sure the readiness to export. Identify and select the appropriate export strategy suited to your business.

Ways to Start This Business

Before starting your own business, make sure that you distinguish what type of agricultural goods you are going to export. Think if the product that you will export is currently not available in the country where you are planning to export it. Select the high demand of time and unique products because this will lead your business to a success. Before deciding, make an accurate research and check your competitors.

Things to Think of Before Exporting Agricultural Products

There are things you have to think of before exporting agricultural products. This includes domestic gross sales, exportability, international partnerships, and legal matters in exporting goods. Through understanding these things, expect that everything will go in order. It would be easy for you to know the basic agricultural exporting schemes and strategies.

Get to know first where to start your exporting business. Go online for more transactions. This is one way of having customers since many people prefer to do online transactions. You have to select and evaluate the market today. Try to understand the demands and changes each passing years. Analyze position and modify your products to meet the quality demand. Build a network. This will ensure the fast way of growing your business. Develop an art of negotiating. It is a requirement for you to close every transaction. Be market and customer-focused. Be able to attend to these things since these two things are essential part of the business. Be ready to face the high and challenging demand of the time. Be willing to spend more time as well as money. Do not be too ambitious at first. Do not be in a hurry to grow fast. Take one-step at a time.

Key to Success

The success of agricultural export business relies on how you handle it. If you are not familiar with this business, take time asking advice from experts. You can also research to know the dos and don’ts in the operations. With your knowledge and skills, your business will be a success.

Starting an import export business is one of the flourishing ideas to work in the 21 st century as a step to achieve your profit goals which are higher to do well in the international market, selling the same product in the domestic market may lead to getting a limited amount of profit margin. But taking the initiative to make a foothold in the international market also requires a thorough product knowledge in the target market as well. Be it import or export; you should require a certain or a minimum amount of Import Export Capital.

The first and foremost question that requires special attention and precise answer is, “how much money is needed to start an import export business in India?”

The answer is it depends. The question is similar to how much does to cost to buy a home or a car.

There is a big myth that starting the Import-Export Service requires a high amount of capital. This is not true in all the cases, can also be started with a minimum or zero investment. Here you will come to know how to start the same in the capital that will not burden your pocket and will lessen the risks involved in doing so.

Now, if you have already made a plan to get involved in exporting the goods to other countries or to import the goods from the foreign countries at a relatively lower price and to sell it at a higher margin, than before starting the exchange of goods, there are certain things which you need to keep in mind.

1. Make a Firm Decision

The very first thing you need is the determination to start a business and prepare yourself to enter the foreign market. Planning and forecasting are very important to get success in any business and deciding, who your customers will be? Which freight and customs agent to contact? Which country to target for your export business? How to start import export business in India? Or is your target country allow you to sell the given products or permit to enter into their market? These questions will help you to focus on the market for a hassle-free sale in the Export Business. Again I would like to clarify that it requires minimum investment for import export business, so you don’t have to worry at all related to investment.

2. Knowledge is the Key to Getting Entry in the International Market

Acquiring product knowledge is the best way to understand the market requirement and knowing your capacity to sell the product in a given market without much difficulty. You should invest your time in finding the right customer to supply the material to earn good profit margins. Negotiate with your clients to get the best deal of all time and skills will come with an in-depth study of your client needs about a particular product.

3. Money Needed for Registering the Import Export Business

If you have a firm or a company in your name, then there are few documents which are required to get your import export license ready in a few days or weeks. Getting and IE Code or and import-export code, obtaining the RCMC (registration cum membership certificate) from the export promotion council are the two most important things to do before starting the Import-Export Service. These will cost you a few thousands of rupees only.

After getting the registration done, contact the right freight forwarder and customs clearing agent, which will help the easy transportation of materials from one country to another country.

These processes of setting up import export business in India involve around than Rs. 65,000 to Rs. 70, 000 as an initial investment.

4. Can Anyone Do an Import Export Business with a Minimum or a Zero Investment?

Now, the main questions which come in everyone’s mind are the possibility of how to start an import business in India? Is it possible to start an export business in India with a minimum or a zero investment? If yes, then how to start export import business in India?

You don’t always need to be a big manufacturer or a trader to invest the money in the foreign market as it looks lucrative to everyone, but there is also a high chance of getting into the risks involved in it. So, working as a Sourcing Agent or a Middlemen is not a bad idea to get money through the manufacturer by helping them to get international buyers and get your money through them.

Secondly, start with a small supply. Let’s say from $1000 only to understand the market easily. Thus, a small Import Export Capital is an easy way to be on a safer side initially. As your business grows, you can invest more and more to export the material and earn more through import export business profit margins in India than what you get by selling the same product in the local markets.

5. Study the Target Market Well

Exporting is not that easy as we think. Greater product knowledge and market requirement are an easy way to penetrate the foreign market. Many countries have products in high demand, but they don’t have the products in abundance to satisfy their peoples need easily, and for doing so, they import these products from where it is found in abundance. Try to export the same after getting to know the market needs and demands to get an entry into these countries easily.

For instance, let’s consider import and export business in India; the country is one of the major producers of vegetables, cotton, fruits, organic chemicals, and machinery, leather products, organic mushrooms, to name a few. Research on these products and start supplying the same to the place where it is required to get a good value of a particular product.

6. Making Contact with the Buyers

To get success in the Import-Export Service, it is essential to keep a healthy relationship with the foreign buyers and suppliers for easy material and cash flow or to get more credits on a particular product.

There are several business contact directories available on the internet today where you can easily find how to start an export business in India and other essential details of manufacturers, suppliers, traders on the platforms like,,, Amazon and others. These are some of the world-renowned, secure and highly trusted platforms to supply goods in the international market.

7. Making Use of the Internet

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or WeChat are a great way to enhance product marketing by personally contacting many peoples around the world. Make use of these platforms to easily join the pages which allow you to share a same product requirement with the target market and increase the chances of getting your Import Export Service to flourish with a minimum Import-Export Capital.

Professional jugglers often start out by keeping three balls sailing through the air at once. Then they start adding balls.

That’s not a bad picture of the current state of U.S. global trade negotiations. For a while it seemed like we were trying to cut new deals with every nation on earth. Fortunately, some of those have been settled—more or less—including Mexico and Canada by replacing NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) with USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), and a new deal with South Korea.

The balls still in the air include Japan, the European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom (UK), and the elephant in the room watching all of these negotiations is China. I won’t venture a guess as to where we currently stand with China on a trade deal—that’s above my pay grade.

Exporting is one of the best ways to grow any business, and there are plenty of resources available.

© sittinan – Adobe Stock

I mention these shifting sands of global trade, because exporting is one of the best ways to grow any business—small, medium, or large. Further, one of the trading partners mentioned earlier—the UK—may be on the cusp of presenting U.S. businesses with some fantastic opportunities.

Current events junkies have probably been following the drama around Brexit, the British exit from the European Union. Will it be a “soft,” fully negotiated exit, or will it be a hard Brexit that leaves many of the t’s uncrossed and the i’s undotted with respect to trade and relations between the British and the EU?

Keep A Close Eye On Great Britain

I’m singling out Great Britain because we have so much in common with the Brits that it makes exporting there easier than, say, South Korea, where the language, culture, tastes, and styles are often radically different than ours. For example, if the Brits wind up with a hard Brexit, cheese from the continent could increase in price by as much as 74%.

That certainly creates some opportunities for the U.S. dairy industry, including smaller artisan cheese makers. The problem for many small business owners is they don’t know how to get started. Fortunately, there is help for the wannabe exporter.

FedEx has been pretty aggressive in developing the information and systems small business owners need to start exporting. The company has created a significant How to Export resource on its website that includes videos, interactive guides, webinars, assessments, and more. The FedEx guidance drives home the fact you need to have a complete plan before you start packing boxes and sending them overseas, or across the borders.

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More Resources For Your Exporting Aspirations

One of the best and least expensive ways to get moving on that plan is to turn to resources like SCORE,, and the various Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) located around the country.

We all know SCORE as the organization that teams up business owners with mentors. The group also has workshops, webinars, and a large library of advice articles, some of which cover topics related to exporting. However, connecting with a local mentor who has exporting experience could be the single most powerful way to give you the confidence and know-how required to jump into selling outside the United States. is, as the name says, all about helping U.S. companies get into the business of exporting. Along with a wealth of information and “how to” guidance, the site links to the U.S. Commercial Service, which for a fee will identify contacts, arrange meetings, and even attend those meetings with you. You’ll find contact information for U.S. Export Assistance Centers here.

SBDCs are “powered by” the Small Business Administration and they offer services in more than 900 different locations around the nation. Check with your nearest SBDC to see what kind of help is available to facilitate your entry into exporting. SBDCs offer a lot of information in exporting, including the nitty-gritty details and ins and outs of financing.

And, speaking of financing, there’s one more important resource many of you will want to become familiar with: the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). Its mission is to support job creation by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. Since many banks are reluctant to lend money to new exporting ventures, the EXIM assumes credit and country risks.

I suspect business growth is going to be a major concern in the coming years. We’re currently enjoying a short “sugar high” from the tax cuts, but what comes next? See if selling outside the United States might be your “next big thing.”

Deciding to start a coconut business involves a lot of things including planning, ensuring that the market channel will help in exporting the product, execution, etc.

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The operation of the coconut expert business will only be guaranteed to success if you follow all necessary procedures.

There are several procedures that need to be followed before your coconut export business can fully be operational. These procedures need to be taken step-by-step to guarantee a legal export business that will lead to a profitable one.

About Coconut Export Business

In starting this business, the first thing that needs to be done is to make the business plan. In the business plan, you must outline all the products that you wanted and decided to expert. It is must also be stated whether the coconut to be exported will be outsourced from others or from your own coconut plantation. The plan must also cover whether you are leasing for a space where the operation can be conducted or you will have for home-base, and whether you will be hiring staff. There are already lots of websites where you can be guided on how to make the business plan. Starting the business will also be requiring that you gather all information needed. One of the information you are to gather is about the coconut export business itself and everything that involves exporting from your country and the country where it will be exported.

Once done, the next step to be taken is to legalize your export business by registering it and applying for a business license. It can be done by contacting your government office so that the registration and license application can immediately be processed. In this step, the structure of your business must be included. It can either be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability or corporation.

Tips to Start Coconut Export Business

Upon making the decision of setting up a coconut export business, when it is already time to register the business and apply for the license, it must be ensured that you are applying for the appropriate one. The appropriate license that you should apply for must depend on the structure of your business. Once that is done, it will be the time when you will know the requirements to be obtained and the fees to be paid.

The Importance of Searching for a Company That can Assist in Exporting your Products

Exporting will never be a coconut exporting business if you do not have a partner that or who can help you in selling your coconut on the country you chose to export it in. It is essential to search out for an individual or a company unless you already under a contract to supply a specific entity with your exported coconuts.

How to start an export business

So you have a great product ready to import or export. Now all you need to do is get it in the hands of a few good customers, and you are off to international trade nirvana. Wait, not so fast. How do you know the product will sell? Will you make money selling it? How should you price the product? All importers and exporters must face these questions at some point if they want to achieve success in the global marketplace. Here are a few solutions to guide you in the process.

Have a Quality Product or Service

Start with a product or service that you know will sell—if not everywhere, at least somewhere. You will improve your odds of picking a winner if you cultivate a knack for tracking trends, spotting potential trends or even creating game-changing trends.

Remember the popular line of stuffed animals called Beanie Babies or the Cabbage Patch dolls? Had you realized those products’ export potential early on before they became best-selling products, you would have made yourself a millionaire four times over in a very short period.

The same holds true for Japan’s Hello Kitty line of products, which is based on a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio in 1974. Had you found that product early on and asked for exclusivity from Sanrio to market it in the United States, your company name would be mentioned here as a success story. That’s the kind of foresight needed to pick import and export winners.

Track Your Financials

No matter what form of business you run, you don’t want to wait until you get to the end of your calendar year to find out where you stand in terms of profit and loss. It’s best to prepare monthly financial—income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements—as you go.

If you haven’t made a sale yet, you are probably asking yourself at this point why you need to keep these detailed financial records. It’s simple: Even though you may have minimal sales, or none at all, in the first few months, you are still spending money. You have expenses. And sooner or later, every business needs working capital to grow.

Another situation that requires monitoring expenses would be one in which, after running your company for a few months, you decide to go to a bank for a loan to help grow your business.

Before the bank decides if you’re a good credit prospect, it needs to see some details on your company’s financial history—namely, your year-to-date sales, expenses, profit-and-loss statement, preferably prepared by your CPA or a reputable accounting organization. This not only helps you control costs but also tells you at a glance if you are making money or losing it and where adjustments need to be made.

Develop Competitive Pricing

Whether you are importing or exporting, you must develop competitive pricing that includes your profit margin or commission, whatever the case may be. Consider the following criteria to determine just how high or low you can go on your markup: