How to start export business in India. IE CODE 2019 – Entrepreneur’s Guide

April 03, 2017
Knowledge is free. Please Like & Share

How to start export business in India. IE CODE 2019 – Entrepreneur’s Guide

Steps to start Export Business in India & Obtain IE Code ( Import & Export Code ) Online

It is not just another article that you read on the internet. It’s a complete package that tells you how to start right. Read it completely to understand the process. All the 6 Pointers mentioned below has equal importance.

1. Choose your products.
2. Decide your company Name.
3. Register your company
4. Apply for IEC — Import Export Code.
5. AD Code & Branch Code registration with Customs House
6. RCMC Certificate with respective export promotion councils

Now we will go step by step,

Choose your Products:

Starting an export company is the easiest thing. But choosing a product & finding buyers is major work for exporters in India. So before getting into starting up, select your product clearly and gather as much as knowledge about the product. Do a complete research of legal problems, government policies and restrictions for exporting your product.

Decide your company Name:
Name your company ending with EXPORTS or IMPEX or EXIM.
Why should I name my company ending with EXPORTS or IMPEX or EXIM.?

I chose the company name as Ramsay Exports instead of Ramsay Enterprises, my buyer can now directly understand the nature of my business that I am an exporter. so you get the point.

Now, you have decided your company’s name. First, you need to enroll yourselves with the government that you are going to start a business. which can be done in various possible ways.The below mentioned are the three most popular ways of registration which are used for registering IE Code & doing export business in India.
  • MSME Registration – Very Cost Effective Way ( literally zero rupees involved in this registration) for a limited transaction.
  • Sole Proprietorship ( if subscribed to GST Reg (Earlier VAT or CST Reg))
  • LLP – Limited Liability Partnership
  • Private Limited.
Register your company as a proprietor through MSME Registration(UDYOG AADHAAR):

Don’t spend too much money on obtaining GST (Earlier VAT & CST) at the early stage even though it is required later when you buy from other states or manufacture products or transact with a taxable product for export.

To start registering your company as MSME.

Please go to

Enter the details your Aadhar Number & Validate it through OTP. then proceed with remaining details. For steps scroll down the udyogaadhaar page or click here to download. Right bottom, you will find all the steps clearly. Fill in the details yourself.

udyog aadhar registration

udyog aadhar registration

Finally, after submission, You will get two copies which look like below image.

Udhyog Registration for IE Code
udhyog copy for IE Code Registration in India

Important Update: This procedure is used to open a current account for the registration of your import & export company when you do a limited transaction where you will not be involved in interstate taxation.

Only with current account in the name of the company, You can get the required document of cheque leaf or Bank Certificate as per ANF 2A(I) from the bank


Step 2:  Bank Process

Go to your favorite bank and open a current account by using the UDYOG AADHAAR registration certificate as shown above.(Provide all other support documents like your pan card, address proof, Photo with initial deposit amount. it will vary from bank to bank from Rs 5000 to Rs 15000 )

Get your current account opened and now you become a proprietor and eligible to do not only exports but also other business in your internal market unless you deal with taxable products.

Apply for IEC Code Online in India:

Before starting up with this procedure, I advise you to visit your nearest Director General of Foreign Trade Office. & Meet Public Relationship Officer; He/She will help you with starting up procedures. It is welcomed by all the DGFT Offices so that exports from India can be promoted.

Important GST Update on IE Code:

Along with GST, DGFT is also taking essential steps to support unified tax system in India. Your PAN CARD is soon to become your IE code.
Let me explain very clearly,

Earlier or in pre-GST era, IE Code was unique 10 numbers which were used for performing import and export business. Now with GST is being implemented, DGFT along with government is implementing pan card based IE code.

Once the DGFT makes necessary changes, Existing and new IE code will resemble Entity’s or individual’s pan card number. Please click here to read the government notification.

There are only a few important documents that you need to register your export company & obtain IE Code.

Document Required to apply IE Code Online as Sole Proprietor.

Either you register with MSME or GST. Same documents for Sole Proprietorship. Individual’s Pan Card is being used for IE code registration.

  • 1. Digital Photograph 3X3 of the proprietor — GIF Format.
  • A canceled Cheque Leaf ( Name of the proprietor & Acc No should be pre-printed)– GIF Format
    or Bank Certificate as per ANF 2A(I) (PDF)
  • Digital Signature – Class – 2
  • A copy of PAN card of the Proprietor – GIF Format
  • Copy of Passport (first & last page)/Voter’s I-Card/ Driving Licence/UID
    (Aadhar card) (any one of these).
  • Sale deed in case business premise is self-owned; or Rental/Lease
    The agreement, in the case of office, is rented/ leased; or latest electricity
    /telephone bill.
Document Required to apply IE Code Online as LLP – Limited Liability Partnership & Private Limited Company.
  • Digital Photograph (3x3cms) of the Designated Partner/Director of the Company signing the application.
  • A copy of PAN card of the applicant entity.
  • A copy of Passport (first & last page)/Voter’s I-Card /UID (Aadhar Card) /Driving Licence/ PAN (any one of these) of the Managing Partner/Director signing the application.
  • Certificate of incorporation as issued by the RoC
  • Sale deed in case business premise is self-owned; or Rental/Lease Agreement, in case office is rented/ leased; or latest electricity
  • A canceled Cheque Leaf ( Name of the Company & Acc No should be pre-printed)– GIF Format
    or Bank Certificate as per ANF 2A(I) (PDF)
Steps to apply for IE Code Online

Here are the few steps that you need to follow to register your export company & obtain IE Code.

  • Use the latest version of Internet Explorer 11.0 or above only
  • Go to tools and compatibility view settings
  • Add the IP Address of

Step 2:
Enter you PAN Card Number in the column.

Step 3:

If your pan card is already not registered with an IE code, Select the Fresh E-IEC option to appearing on the screen.
  • Enter your valid mobile number & email id.
  • Enter the captcha ( jumbled letter visible in the column)( until you enter these numbers do not click on generate token)
  • Once mobile number, Email & Captcha is entered, Click on the generate token button.
Step 4:

Now you would have received the token numbers respectively in email & mobile that you have entered for IE Code online registration. Please enter the token number in the respective columns & click submit button.

Step 5:

The screen would migrate to next step, where your Ecom Number would be generated, which is the reference number for your IE code online registration process. Then click on update master data button to update all your details & company details.
here are few mandatory columns that need to be filled. Please see those pinpoints below and then proceed to the next step.
  • IEC Master 
  • Branch
  • Director
  • Application Fee
  • Attachments ( Most important with Multiple steps)
  • Submitting the application with Digital Signature – Class – 2
  • Application Status
 Step 6: Update IEC Master

Details to be entered as reflected on the PAN CARD.

  • Entity Name
  • Entity Address
  • Enter City, State, District & Pin code.
  • Enter the name & DOB(date of birth only in case of proprietorship) as mentioned in the pan card.
  • Select the type of registration & activity of the business ( merchant or manufacturing or service exports)
  • Enter Bank acct number, bank acct holder name, bank name, bank branch & Bank IFSC code.
  • Enter the name of the applicant, designation, official address, email & pan card of the applicant, declaration date & declaration place.
In the case of LLP or private limited, Please add in  Company Identification Number & Registration Certificate Number. It is mandatory only for LLP & Private Limited.

Reverify the information & click update.

Incase if you want reliable CA for your register
Incase if you find difficulty. Please click the link & fill the form below.

Step 7: Branch

  • This step is not mandatory. If you have branch address please mention or please skip.
  • Incase if you have branch, Enter branch serial no & address of the branch ( Entity name need not be repeated), district, state & Pincode.

Step 8: Director

  • This is a mandatory step.
  • For LLP & Pvt Limited, Enter Director Serial No & Director Identification Number ( DIN ).
  • For Sole Proprietor, Neglect the above step.
  • Enter PAN Card Number & Name & DOB (Very Important : Should be as mentioned in the PAN Card)
  • Address of the proprietor & directors
  • Adhaar Card Number.

Reverify the details & click on add. Continue adding the director details incase of LLP & Pvt Ltd.
Incase a of foreign director, While adding director details, In the pincode section, enter 000000 in the pincode section of the director form, The system will now allow to add the foreign director without pan card & address details.

Step 9: Application Fee (Appication fees payable to DGFT is only Rs 500)

  • When you click on application fee, It will be redirected to a new page containing the Ecom Reference Number.
  • Application Fee will be mentioned by default & a column to choose the bank of payment. Select the bank and proceed to pay the application fee by clicking pay now button.
  • Once the transaction is complete.

Step 10: Attachments to upload mandatory documents.

  • Photograph of the signatory – GIF Format
  • Entity or Individual PAN Card – GIF Format
  • Canceled Cheque Leaf – GIF Format
  • (Or) Bank Certificate as per ANF 2A(I) (PDF) – PDF Format.
  • Upload documents one by one – Select the file type, choose the file and upload.

Now click on Checklist tab on the left-hand side.

  • Ensure all the documents required are uploaded.
  • Matches the PAN Card & Address details in the sale deed or rental agreement with electricity or telephone bill.
  • Matches the bank acct number, bank acct name & bank name as mentioned in the canceled cheque leaf or Bank Certificate as per ANF 2A(I)
  • On the multi-option, Please select yes on all the criteria & Click on the print checklist.

Now click on Preview tab on the left-hand side.

  • You will have all the details that you have uploaded in the earlier step.
  • Please reverify for the last time and ensure all the details are correct.

Now click on Print Application tab on the left-hand side.

  • As same as the preview tab, you will have the details mentioned that you have uploaded with Print Application Button
  • Once you conclude the details that you have entered is all correct, then click on print application button.
  • A pdf file would be generated containing all the details.
  • Download it to your system and take a print out.
  • Make a physical signature as mentioned in the document.
  • Scan it in the pdf format.

Now click on Attachment tab on the left-hand side.

  • Upload the signed document

Select the file category as “Signed Copy of Application” & file type as “PDF”

  • Choose the Signed pdf file and upload.
  • Once the file is uploaded. You need to submit the application.
  • In case if you have any insufficient document, they system will throw the error with red texts.
  • You need to go back and correct.

Step 11: Submit the application.

Submitting the application with Digital Signature:

  • Enter the details of your Ecom Reference Number.
  • Applicant’s Name
  • Select submission using Digital Signature
  • Select to which DGFT Office, you are going to submit the application.
  • Select “Yes” for confirmation
  • Plug the digital signature USB to the system for automatic detection.
  • Click on Sign & Submit Button to submit the application.
  • Please refer the image for submitting the ie code application with Digital signature.



Step 12: Application Status

Then click on Application Status to check the for the approvals.

  • Mostly within 24 hrs, Your application will be approved if all documents are without any issues.
  • You will receive a two-page IE code document in the email address in PDF.
  • The PDF file will have your IE code digitally signed by DGFT authority.
  • Download the file and make a printed copy & use it for future references.
  • if your application is rejected, Reapply with the above-mentioned procedure after knowing why the application has been rejected

For Registering Sole Proprietorship or LLP or Private Limited Company. There is a reliable service provider called Legal Raasta who can help you on that.

or Fill the details here

Get your IE Code Online

AD CODE Reg for Port: Declaration of IEC Branch code of the exporter and Authorised Dealer code of the bank

IE Code is alone not sufficient to perform exports or imports. You got to provide the proof of you bank branch details with branch code & authorised dealer code of your bank to the custom house of the port. This reg has to be done for each and every port you choose to export from or import to.

For which, you need to submit two forms to the port and get it registered. Both marked to “The Commissioner of Customs”. The port address and port name have to vary according to the port location where you are exporting from.

You need to contact a clearing agent to perform this.

To download word format of below-mentioned images. Click Here





RCMC Registration:

Apart from these procedures, you need to apply for RCMC – Registration cum membership certificates from respective export promotion council. This step is essential to claim duty drawbacks & other benefits from the government.

There is validity for your registration with all the export promotion councils and you need to submit documents and file returns to keep your registration active.

To know the list of Export Promotion Council’s Click here

For RCMC’s of few products. Please refer the link below.

Coconut related products –
Spice related products –
For handicrafts –
For apparels –

if you handle multiple products or your product doesn’t fall in any of the export promotion council. Then you have FIEO – Federation of Indian Export Organisations Refer or click here

Now you are legally ready to start exporting your product.
If you are still finding difficulty. Please drop your details.

Get your IE Code Online

Update : 14th Sep 2017. Can IE Code be bought without office premise? <–Question by a visitor.
To be precise. All the import and export operations are now alinged with GST. Its impossible practically to use your home as office as you very well know how the sales tax officers would interpret. so it is better to have atleast a small office before you start registering your company for both IE Code and sale tax registration. This answer applies only to small entrepreneur who try to startup.

This article is written to bring awareness about the registration. If you like our work. Come on. Support us on

Follow the procedure in the below-mentioned video in English.

Follow the procedure in the below-mentioned video in Tamil.

for more information:
Do you really need GST Identification Number for Exports in India? An exporter’s answer is here!
US to get out TPP will favour India
GST rates announced. Commonly used products to get lower tax.
What is Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) & How does it impact export companies in India


Knowledge is free. Please Like & Share