How to Start Exportation Business

Exports business is a very profitable business worth doing in Nigeria today. However, from observation a reasonable number of people are rushing into importation business without considering the immense potentials in exportation business.

To call exportation business a “gold mine” is in no way an understatement because it truly is. This is because of the almost unlimited potentials in this business. It is highly lucrative. Besides, it connects one to the international community thus expanding business scope, coverage and influence. When you become an exporter, you go international, you are no more limited to just your locality; your markets expand to other countries.

If you are looking for a business that can make you reach the international markets, then exportation business is what to go for. This article explains how to start and run a successful exportation business today.

Get Your Exportation Business Registered

Business name registration cannot be overemphasized. To avoid risking of your business life in the long-term, registering of the business is an essential thing to do. It saves you from legal and allied issues arising in the future.

Registering a company means getting the government and the public informed that you own and operate a business and that the business name which you are using is legally yours.

The only firm given the mandate by the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 to register a company name in Nigeria is The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). So, you’ll have to approach the CAC to get your business registered.

Register with The Nigeria Export Commission (NEPC) In Export Business in Nigeria

Still, you have to register with another body in Nigeria which is in charge of exportation business. That body is The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). This is the government agency authorized to regulate and offer different export trade services in Nigeria today. The sole function of the NEPC (and for which it was established was, and is, to assist entrepreneurs who have the desire of venturing into exportation.

Registering your exportation business with the NEPC is highly recommended as they keep all the records and database of all exporters and link them up with buyers if the need arises.

Besides, they publish a list of products that can and may not be exported. However, you may log on to NEPC website right now to see the kinds of goods that are allowed to be exported from Nigeria and the ones that are prohibited from being exported. This information should help you in deciding on the products that you want to export. 

Finally, the NEPC organizes public enlightenment and advertisements for exporters in the local market and in the international market. This would give your business the much-needed growth and exposure that it needs to thrive.

exportation business

Decide on the Product(s) that You Want To Export

After you have successfully registered your business name and clarified things with the NEPC, what follows is deciding on a particular product or group of products that you would love to export.

Believe me, there are tons of products out there which you can export especially the agricultural products. However, you must pick the particular ones that you want to deal in.

Deciding on this is crucial to the success of your business. One way to tailor your choice of products is to review the terms and conditions attached to the exportation of some products that you have in mind to export. Study the terms and conditions very well and use it as a yardstick to lay off some item from your list.

Agricultural products sell well on the international market. Some popular ones which you can go into are:

  1.                   Ginger
  2.                   Sesame
  3.                   Plantain
  4.                   Hibiscus Flower
  5.                   Pepper
  6.                   Cocoa
  7.                   Bitter Cola
  8.                   Kolanut
  9.                   Walnut
  10.               Groundnut
  11.               Edible local chalks (Nzu)
  12.               Palm oil
  13.               Crayfish
  14.               Tiger nuts
  15.               Fabrics
  16.               Moringa seed
  17.               Shea butter
  18.               Charcoal
  19.               Palm fruit
  20.               Bread fruit
  21.               Melon
  22.               Zobo leaves
  23.               Vegetables
  24.               Locust beans
  25.               Cashew nuts
  26.               Garlic
  27.               Ogbono seeds

As you can see from the list above alone, the number of items that you can export is plenty. It you might be tempted to attempt exporting most of them. If you do that, you would get overwhelmed and frustrated in the long run. So, go through the terms and conditions attached to the exportation of each product and from there you pick the one which fits your capacity.

Source For and Contact Your Target Customers

Remember, you are not selling to people in your locality but rather you are selling to the international market. So, the best way to go about this is to find what sells best at the international market. In other words, you need to know who your target buyers are, what they need (often) and how to deliver it to them.

You can get these people at international conferences, through webinars, on blogs and websites, on forums and by visiting the ports in your country.

Source For and Contact Your Target Suppliers

The company or persons who supply you the export items are a key factor in determining your success and growth in this business.

After you have found your buyers, you need to find the company or persons who would supply you the products unless you want to handle the product sourcing yourself. When you are looking for suppliers, please go for people and companies who supply quality products.

Speed and consistency matter in this business. So, ensure that besides supplying quality products, your prospective suppliers can work under a tight schedule and are consistent in the delivery of the product.

Buyers will shun you if the first attempt at buying from you was awful. So, ensure that what you supply are of high quality to retain your customer base. You should be able to differentiate a supplier with high quality product from the ones with low quality and avoid the latter.

Hence, take the time to properly research and reach out to the right suppliers of your products.

Determine the Price at Which You Want to Sell Your Goods

What follows is the pricing of your products. There is a way to do this to avoid or at best reduce loses in this business.

This is one of the most frequent and highly advisable route to follow:

  1.       Make a list of all the spending which you incurred to get your products to the final stage of sale. Sum up all the expenditures. That is why it is good to keep an inventory of all the spending made. This is so that when it comes to this stage you would not be skeptical in the calculation of your expenses. It is most unlikely that you will run your business at a loss if you have this stage correct.
  2.       After that, find out the rate at which the prospective buyers of this product are buying or at least their level of patronage for the product. In other words, what do the buyers want to pay for this product? What is the rate of demand of this good presently? This is because demand significantly affects the price of the products. Products with a high rate of demand would be priced highly in the international market compared to those with less market demand.
  3.       Finally, check on the different prices other sellers are selling the same or similar product in the international market. Remember, you are in a competition and there are numerous other sellers competing to sell the same or similar product. Hence, there would be some price dis-balances here and there to favour the competition. If you price your product too high, you might lose buyers who would not hesitate to contact the next available supplier whose rate is lower.

Choose A Logistics Company for Product Deliveries

Part of the things that you must know in this business is how to package and deliver products to the buyers. As an exporter, you are expected to know how to pack and label the product which you want to export. After you have done the basic packaging of the product, hand it over to the freight forwarders or logistics companies to make delivery of the product for you.

That’s all.


This article is not all-inclusive but it should give you a clue of what exportation business is all about. It should assist you and direct you on the steps to take to begin exporting soon. Export business is profitable and has been thriving for many years now in Nigeria.

You will need to do a market survey, write your business plan, get the required funds, get the products, reach your target buyers, package and deliver the product to them. You also need to overcome some odds of exportation business in Nigeria.

Till next time, do have a great day ahead and let me know if you’d need any assistance by tying it in the comments box below.



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