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 How to Start a Spice Export Business in India: An Expert Guide


India is renowned for its rich and diverse spice industry, offering a wide array of flavours and aromas that are in high demand globally. Starting a spice export business in India can be a lucrative venture, tapping into the country's centuries-old tradition of spice cultivation and trade. In this expert guide, we will walk you through the essential steps and documents required to embark on a successful spice export journey.

1. Obtain an Import-Export Code (IEC):

The first step in establishing your spice export business is to obtain an Import-Export Code (IEC) from the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). This ten-digit code is crucial for legally conducting cross-border trade and is mandatory for any export-oriented business in India.

2. Spice Board Registration:

To legitimize your spice export business, register with the Spice Board, an agency under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This registration is essential for availing subsidies and benefits. Authorized exporters holding a Spice House Certificate, Brand Registration with the Spice Board, or an Organic Certificate are eligible for additional incentives, providing a competitive edge in the global market.

3. PAN Card:

Obtain a business PAN card, which is mandatory for all businesses operating in India. You can apply for a PAN card online, similar to the process for obtaining a personal PAN card. This unique identification is essential for financial transactions and tax compliance.

4. Trademark Registration:

Protect your brand by registering your trademark. This step ensures that your business has proprietary rights over its brand name, preventing unauthorized use or misappropriation. A strong and recognizable brand can enhance your market presence and build trust with international buyers.

5. GST Registration:

Obtain Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration, a mandatory license for businesses exporting spices from India. This registration streamlines tax compliance and ensures transparency in your financial transactions. It is a crucial requirement for engaging in cross-border trade and maintaining a good standing in the global market.

6. Incorporation Certificate:

Secure an incorporation certificate from the Registrar of Companies to establish the legal identity of your spice export business. This document signifies that your business has been officially incorporated and is compliant with the regulatory framework.

7. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Registration/License:

Comply with food safety regulations by obtaining registration or a license from the FSSAI. This ensures that your spice export business adheres to the necessary quality and safety standards, gaining the trust of international buyers.

8. Passport Size Photo:

Include a passport-size photo as part of your documentation. This small yet crucial element is often required for various official purposes during the registration process.

Additional Considerations:

Consider registering your spice export business as a micro, small, or medium enterprise (MSME) with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. This registration offers access to government schemes, subsidies, and support, providing a boost to your business in its initial stages.


Embarking on a spice export business in India requires careful planning, adherence to regulatory requirements, and strategic positioning in the global market. By obtaining the necessary documents and certifications, you can establish a credible and competitive presence, ensuring the success and sustainability of your spice export venture.

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