How to Export to US, UK, EU, ASIA with good documentation

The demand from European, US, Asian markets for African commodities has been on the increase.

Export business from sub-Sahara is very lucrative and this is why it is quite compelling to consider exporting from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and other African countries based on having the requisite knowledge and current economic parameters.

Some of the benefit of export business are as follows but this is not exhaustive:

1. Increased sales and profit
2. Create potential for business expansion
3. Gain global market shares
4. Increase life cycle of products
5. Take advantage of economies of scale
6. Diversifying income
7. Gain new knowledge and experience
8. Earn more in foreign currency

Based on the above itemized benefits of export business, this article will be addressing exporting from Nigeria, you will get started by first registering with the national export body. For Nigeria, (Nigeria Export Promotion Council – ) as an exporter via e-registration platform as you will need the exporter’s certificate.

The needed documents for limited liability company registration are as follows:

1. Certificate of incorporation, CAC 1.1, Form C 07, and copy of memorandum and article of association.

2. Registration charges:

Once the export certificate has been completed, carry out research in the following areas in order to minimize your risk and increase gain; Trade statistics, trade policy, regulatory framework, channels of distribution, logistics and risk assessment.

Going further for an export business, your company can begin processing the Nigeria Export Proceed (NXP) through an authorized bank.

You will be required to open an export domiciliary account with any bank in Nigeria in which you registered the form NXP. This is a control that ensures that export proceeds are repatriated and credited to your domiciliary account within 180 days from the Bill of Lading date. Payment method could be direct advance transfer, Letter of Credit (LC), Bills for Collection, and other approved international mode of payment acceptable for exports from Nigeria. Cokodeal introduced its escrow services to help receive funds from countries around the world and credit your account locally.

With the completion of NXP, a Request for Information (RFI) shall be collected from the Pre-shipment inspection agent. This is to enable the inspection agent to coordinate the date and time for the inspection.

Please, note that the following are exempted from inspection:


  1. Personal effects
  2. Used motor vehicles
  3. Perishable day old chicks
  4. Vaccines, Yeast
  5. Objects of Art
  6. Explosives
  7. Pyrotechnic products and arms
  8. Ammunitions
  9. Weapons
  10. Live animals


  1. Raw hides and skin
  2. Scrap metals
  3. Timber – Rough and saw
  4. Unprocessed rubber latex and rubber lump

Please avoid trading prohibited goods as it may lead to unimaginable adverse consequences and loses to your export business.

Once the product has been inspected by the Pre-shipment inspection agent along the side with all relevant goverment agencies and all parties are satisfied, a clean certifcate of inspection CCI will be issued.

With issuance of CCL, the product for export is now ready to be loaded on board the vessel based on the agreed Incoterms which defines all obligations of buyer and seller within the logistics and supply chain

Export business in Nigeria will require the following documentations:

  1. Bill of lading (BL) / Air way bill (AWB)
  2. Packing list
  3. Certificate of Origin
  4. Commercial invoice
  5. Single goods declaration (SDG)
  6. Nigeria Export Proceed (NXP)
  7. Clean certificate of inspection (CCi)
  8. Certificate of weight and quality
  9. Road transport waybill

In addition, export business will require other documentations depending on the regulatory body that is involved. This will include the following:

Phytosanitary certifications for agricultureal commodities (NAQs)

Health certificate for processesd and semi-processed food items (NAFDAC)

Internatinoal veterinary certiciate and animal products (DVPCS)

Fumigation certificate for agricultureal commodities (FPIS)

Lastly, In an export contract draft, for a legal biding transaction here are some of the terms used;

Terms of trade (Incoterms)

Mode of payment

Mode of delivery

Trade enforcement organs

Agreed dispute resolutions mechanism

Presiding court

At The Commodity Bank ( ) over the last decade many of our exporters do experience different challenges along the value chain.

At any point you have any question please get in touch with cokodeal support center for professional advise, it is free


Whatsapp: +234 816 3229 560

credits to: ronish logistics

For new members ready to explore export business start by registring with link below

Wishing you success in your international trade business.

Making Nigerian meals merchandise portable

A record that Nigerian meals products are rejected inside the international marketplace isn’t cheery towards the backdrop of the quest for the diversification of the economy and robust currency. The over-dependence on oil has stunted commercial development and is not sustainable. We need opportunity non-oil assets of sales to boost the financial system.

Therefore, we cannot come up with the money for to lose on the rural merchandise exportation the front. For, agriculture constituted the principle supply of foreign sales earlier than oil birthed and took over, and agriculture changed into abandoned.

The potentials are massive and inestimable. The economic system could be higher off if agriculture turns into the principal source of revenue in preference to oil.

Indeed, non-oil exports, in the shape of agricultural merchandise, represent a possible alternative source of revenue; that’s why the whole lot should be done to make sure the safety of the meals products locally and for export.

Achieving this requires the collaboration of farmers and the various businesses of the government concerned with meals manufacturing, processing, social control, and export. These might make sure that the exports meet international requirements and not rejected within the global market. The exchange rules have to be accompanied to make our exports acceptable.

To this stop, it’s far timely that applicable regulatory corporations of foods and export have been jolted and have expressed worry over the continuing rejection of Nigerian food products in the worldwide market. Even as they’ve teamed as much as ensuring the protection of the meals domestically and across the world The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in collaboration with its sister organizations such as the Nigerian Customs Service, Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON, Shippers Councils, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigeria Agricultural and Quarantine Service (NAQS), among others, are reportedly beginning a nationwide awareness on food safety below the Inter-business enterprise collaboration forum.

Speaking to reporters rapidly after a meeting of the organizations, tagged: “Effective Inter-businesses Collaboration as a Means to Diversify Nigerian Economy through Export,” the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, expressed concerns approximately the rejection of Nigerian food products abroad, pronouncing that the rejection turned into not simplest about losing money but additionally losing Nigeria’s image.

“We are working together to make certain that awful products do not exit of us of an anymore, and this is one of the motives we put this meeting so that we can consolidate our efforts. From our discussions, we’re planning to consolidate via enlightenment, targeted sensitization, and consolidated checking out of those products between SON and NAFDAC. We need our human beings to understand the right factor to do before they ship their merchandise out of doors the United States of America,” Adeyeye said.

There is no doubt the inter-enterprise collaboration might motivate diversification of the economy via a systematic mechanism to facilitate export for Nigeria. The organized personal area (OPS) organizations consisting of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and nearby Chambers of Commerce and Industry should brace up too as mediocrity in manufacturing and packaging has been part of the challenges in this regard.

There is no doubt that Nigeria is keen to export agricultural produce as a way of diversifying the economy. Given the renewed enthusiasm by many country governments as well as non-public individuals to embark on meal production, desire is rising that during no remote time, there might be enough food for neighborhood consumption and export. This possibility is evident inside the quantum of rice and different crops produced. There is want; therefore, for authorities to make sure that not anything hinders the rising export pressure. The farmers and exporters would have no preference; however, to conform to any directives that police can also issue in this regard.

There is a critical venture that must entice the attention of the highest level of government at all ranges. Specifically, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council has to wake up too to get even the applicable schools of our tertiary establishments to step up research in the manufacturing and packaging of merchandise for exports. There is a virtual engineering age. There is a time of innovation through research that our universities and polytechnics need to embrace. So, know-how people, in this realm, must show up for the USA. If we lose out on export power, there’s no way the economic system can enhance. It is time for all stakeholders to wake up to this project, lest we must be the last even in the continent.

How to Find International buyers for my foodstuff export business

Cokodeal platform supports hundreds of businesses to connect with international buyers and succeed daily. If you find this article valuable, kindly share with others. “We rise by lifting others”  SELL HERE


When you are trying to get into international trading, finding customers can be one of the first obstacles you have to overcome. But nowadays there are plenty of options that you can take advantage and discover new opportunities overseas. Always keep an eye on how to find buyers for export products. If you are not able to identify customers, all your efforts will be in vain.

So, after you identify the product that you want to export to foreign countries like African countries, you will need local contacts to complete your import-export business. Besides funds and legal matters, any exporter needs an importer to help him introduce their goods on the local market. And when it comes to African countries, your possibilities are almost endless considering the extended needs of such countries.

You can find clients interested in a variety of goods and increase your profit significantly. Here are the main ways to increase your export buyers list and become successful in the international business!

1. Start with a good and in-depth online research

Research is crucial to any success in import-export business, and it is important not to neglect this phase. When it comes to how to find customers for export business, the knowledge you gather can make a great difference. Of course, the first option of research is the online research which can give you a lot of information about your future international trading process. There are plenty of websites and forums that can help you but also many local importers looking for foreign exporters just like you!
This B2B import export portal will put you in contact with plenty of African importers looking for new partners. Many goods are needed in Africa, and you can supply the market the best you can. But you will not be able to do that unless you find a reliable importer to help you with the process.

There is a trick though, especially when you are looking for business partners online: you need to watch out for scammers. Unfortunately, on such popular websites like the B2B portal, you may find plenty of importers that do not look trustworthy. However, after some time, you shall be able to identify the real importers and spot the potential scammers. Keep in mind to check the internet for more information about potential importers. You can find a reliable website and even some reviews to put your mind at ease.

Keeping in touch with other exporters will help you as well. You can find forums with different topics for foreign exporters like you. And you might be amazed to see that many successful exporters can refer you to a good importer that you can trust. You have even higher chances if your products are different than other’s because this type of business is based a lot on the competition. Stay active and vigilant on such forums and try to analyze your options before starting any serious collaboration with a potential client.

2. Invest in your brand awareness

Even before you start looking for importers to fulfill your import export business, you have to invest in yourself. Make your company visible and attractive for your export buyers by investing in your brand awareness. It means you will need a professional website with very clear information on it. Also, consider investing in an SEO campaign to reach more of your target audience through the content of your website. Use keywords and links to become more popular among the best search engines. All these tricks and tips can be applied by your co-workers but also by hiring a professional SEO team that can help you in the long run.

It is an investment worth making especially if you are planning to break into foreign markets. Your official website should have important information about your company such as contact information and offers for your future buyers. Keep in mind that your clients should find everything they need on your website as this is your business card.

Having a professional PR team is going to help you a lot while you are building your brand awareness. Also, applying different strategies can increase your odds to be successful from a marketing point of view.

Your PR department will make sure to be actively involved in these strategies and research the market to build you a great slogan and campaign.

This type of marketing will help you reach new customers around the world and even develop your business by entering new markets. And if you neglect your brand awareness, you may risk to not reaching the business potential that you aim for.

Your logo is also very important as it has to be easily recognized worldwide but also adapted to specific countries. For instance; if you want to enter an African country, consider using a logo that will catch the local’s attention and won’t pass by unnoticed.

The language that you use in your PR campaign can make a difference as well. Try to be aware of local languages before advertising into a certain country. In Africa, you can always use English but also French as both languages are very common. You can also add some local words to your campaign so that people will relate to your brand more than they do with others. And the competition on this market is high, so you have to be as original as possible. Either way, a good PR will act as a magnet when it comes to bringing new customers to you, so it is well worth the investment!

Email marketing is also a great PR strategy that can bring you, new clients if you are using it well. You can purchase databases with different importers and even important local stores, and you can start negotiating with them and identify the best to start a long-term collaboration with. Having access to such databases can be pricey, but it is all worth it once your profit starts increasing. And the good news is that they can bring you a new customer in a matter of weeks from accessing them!

Think that every investment that you make in the beginning phase of your business is going to bring you more positive outcome shortly and it is never lost as long as you do it wisely. You can find databases for sale online, but you need to pay attention to how authentic they are because it is a high risk of fraud when you purchase one from an unknown or uncertified website!

3. Make the customers you already have a number one priority

Even if your main concern might be to reach more customers, you have to pay attention to the clients that you already have. Most often than not, your current clients will open new opportunities for you to reach new ones. How can that happen? Happy clients will always bring you new ones by referring your business to others that are interested in buying similar products. It is a very popular form of PR, considering that good advertising is always beneficial when you need to increase your database of customers. And when it comes to how to get foreign clients, the key might be to your current clients. Make sure to get good reviews from your current customers and make them public. You can also allocate a section of testimonials on your website so that new customers can see what others think of your business.

If you try to keep your customers faithful and satisfied, your chances to break into new markets will increase and so will your profit. You can do that by adjusting your offers to their needs and make sure that the import-export business is one that works for both yours and their benefit.
Usually, your importers will know other importers as well and will not hesitate to recommend your business to them if they are happy with your services. However, if it happens to have a client that is not satisfied with an import-export business with you, make sure to take the necessary actions to correct the outcome. One client that is not satisfied should be a big red flag for you and your future commercial adventure.

A new potential client will always check your past activity and reviews before even contacting you. Some of them might also get in touch with your previous customers to gather more information before they decide to get in contact with you. This is a way to lose or gain clients before you even become aware of them.

4. Get familiar with the local market’s needs

Staying informed is essential when you are hunting for new customers for your import-export business. An overseas market introduction service will help you identify the main needs of the market that you want to break into. Get familiar with the goods that the local market needs and evaluate your potential to supply them. Especially if you get into an African market, the demands are high for many types of goods, and you can talk with different importers before deciding what type of trading you can get involved in. Check local forums and determine what type of impact you can have on the market to develop your business.

Most of the times, researching the market will also put you in contact with potential buyers. There are many guides that you can read to determine the viability of your business as well as gather information about local importers. When it comes to African importers, they are willing to import almost any type of goods from food to electronics and clothing which leaves you with a wide variety of options.
Talking with local importers can also help you adapt your business according to their needs to have better deals for your future profit. In any case, you can only benefit from this type of research, and your business can significantly increase under the indirect guidance of the importers.

While you are researching the local market that you want to break into, make sure also to stay informed regarding the legal aspects of it. Be aware of the paperwork required during an import-export process and understand that such regulations can defer from a category of goods to another which is why details always matter in this type of business. But don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of information that you might come across because you can deal with it better once you have your importer and buyer export. If you already have local contacts in countries like African ones, you are a step ahead of other exporters just trying to get in the system. It is a hard work process but well worth it in the end!

5. Start following embassies fairs and economic changes in the local market

Sometimes, the authorities will offer you better answers than any other research ways. Make sure to check the official websites of different institutions such as embassies or even local ports to identify the opportunities that you are looking for. You might be amazed to discover that there are plenty of events organized for import-export business such as thematic fairs that you can participate on.
At such events, you can identify importers and buyers that will become your future international trading partners and change the course of your business altogether! Since the import-export process is usually in the good name of a country’s economy, the chances are that authorities will do their best to facilitate this process and put foreign exporters in touch with trustworthy local importers.

Another advantage that you can obtain by being present at such fairs and subscribing to embassies websites is the possibility to find a buyer’s agent. It can help you a lot while you are trying to break into a new African country because they will act as a mediator between you and potential buyers. By having such an agent, you can be almost sure that you will avoid possible scammers and only deal with honorable local importers.

Usually, buyers’ agents tend to receive a percentage of the transaction that they facilitate which is fair, but it is also a small price to pay for a lot more benefits that you can enjoy. To find such an agent, you can check the embassies’ forums since they are very active there, looking for clients. You can for sure find them at the fairs that we mentioned above and also through local importers that you might already know or work with.

Buyers’ agents will help you find customers to sell your goods from all categories, and they will also speed up the formalities and negotiation phase. But there are many other reasons why you should consider working with a buyer’s agent especially if you are a small business. Many small business ideas involve cooperating with an agent until you get familiar with the import-export process which can take from several months to several years. A mediator can make this process a lot easier for you as well as they can also help you skip different obstacles that you can find on the way.

You can get membership from local councils as well regarding export information as well as have access to a list of importers. It will be information that will help you significantly especially if you are entering a new market. Official memberships can grant you access to different facilities and also make a big difference for your business and your contact list since you will be meeting a lot of people that you can work with.


To register as a supplier — follow this link —

Article credit:  waystocap

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How to invest and get international buyers for bitter kola in Nigeria an export marketplace for foodstuff and commodities.

Cokodeal platform supports hundreds of businesses to connect with international buyers and succeed daily. If you find this article valuable, kindly share with others. “We rise by lifting others”  SELL HERE

Nigeria is a country richly endowed with agricultural products of varying importance. One of such agricultural businesses profitable enough for you to engage in is the processing of bitter-kola for export.

You don’t need to be a millionaire before you start this business and you may not need to go through the rigors of shipping with the containers or Nigeria export promotion council (NEPC) before you are on your way to success. Though I encourage you to register with them because there are more benefit you will gain as if you register with NEPC

Sources: Bitter Kola can be found in Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and southern part of Nigeria in large quantity

 The Project

Bitter (Garcinia) kola is in great demand in America, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, China, Japan, India and other Asian countries.

It is used for food purposes apart from serving as a raw material in pharmaceutical industries for production of drugs.

The product abounds in Nigeria as its growing is wide in the rural communities. Collection of the bitter kola from the rural areas and processing them for export market is a simple operation to undertake, less capital intensive, attractive to government support and above all, a noble occupation.

  Processing and Packaging

In the international market, bitter kola is always required in two forms, fresh or dried. However, most importers (or buyers) always want them dried. The drying must be done in a way that the colour and taste is not affected. Drying of bitter kola is done in three ways: sun drying, natural drying, mechanical drying (using drying machines). Sun drying is the popular method in our villages but products for international market must not be dried in the sun. Natural drying method is recommended. If it is allowed to dry naturally, the butterfish colour of the product will not be affected. The purpose of drying is to reduce the moisture content.

Here is the natural way of drying bitter kola, spread it on your room (Clean floor)

Don’t allow the sun or ran inside the room, and live it for about 4 to 5 days, after then it is OK and dry for export

Drying by machines is also recommendable. The drying machines are locally fabricated and available at affordable prices, imported machines also exist at higher prices. Packaging of the products does not require a standard packaging method. The quantity of products to be exported at a point in time determines the packaging method. However, any prospective exporter can use the type of bag used in packaging rice.

Quality Control and Certification

The exporter must ensure good quality product. The product therefore must be free of foreign matters likes stones, sand, dirt, nylon, paper, etc. These will add unnecessary weight as well as contaminate the product. For the exportable product to achieve standard in terms of quality and packaging at the international market, the following parameters must be observed: commodities (the product) must be properly dried to avoid moldness, free from extraneous matters, must not be adulterated.


It is important to note that there is not standard packaging method for bitter kola , you can also seek the consent of your buyers before packaging on the type of packaging they require. Though the type of packaging for this type of product is the pp bag used in packaging rice so that air can enter. You can choose the size that fit the quantity of your product. Unless your buyers chooses something else

 Export Pricing

Currently a kg of bitter kola commands an international market price of $20, and the local price is about N300 per kg.

And calculating the price of bitter kola in our local market can be on N150 to N300 per kg depending on the point of purchase and by purchasing from the source in quantity discount. Now you can see that bitter-kola is very lucrative business that anyone can do even from your bedroom, imaging buy $1 per kg and selling $20 per kg. Calculate the gain in multiply (hundred and thousands kg. per tones) quantity, it is however advisable to reach out to the local areas, rural and village markets where it is sold on baskets and in quantities for possible reduction of price as it follows that the cheaper you purchase locally the better you stand a case for more profit at the export market (Kindly confirm market price, above is for analyses)

 In making your export pricing as regard any enquiry that you may receive from prospective buyers, the following steps must be carefully considered: analyse the enquiry carefully, note what the customer asked for CIF or FOB, delivery time and payment terms, etc.

Quality Control

It is very important when it comes to maintaining a good quality. This implies that exportable product including Bitter kola must be free of foreign matters like stones, dirt papers, nylon, sands etc must not be among this product you are exporting, because this will not only add unnecessary weight but will contaminate the product especially while it is used for medicinal and food purposes.

 Ton (Tonned)

This is the recognized international unit of measurement that is used in export, it represent a total of 1000kg weight of any product including Garcinia-Kola (bitter-Kola). That simple means that 1000kg represent 1 TON. So in calculation 10 TONS will be seen as 10,000Kg

 NOTE: As a small scale exporter, if you don’t have enough money to source for the bitter-kola in tons, I strongly encourage that you start with A TRIAL ORDER which can be from 100kg

Trial Order

A trail order can be seen as small scale way of exporting bitter-kola with very little capital start up

Without going for TONS ORDER which may need some huge amount to source

 Before any prospective exporter starts to source for the bitter kola products for export, it is advisable to source for an wxport order/ This involves communicating with a genuine buyer abroad and agreed on a price and the quantity, packaging method and terms of payment and delivering method and such terms as may be relevant


As small scale exporter, you don’t need shipping your goods because you must register with the NEPC before you will need to ship your goods, but as an Home-based exporter, you may not need this

Post office: Nipost, has been the cheapest method of exporting bitter-kola compararbly with courier service. Though it may delay and in some for some days or week before the products get to the buyer

Courier services: DHL, EMS, IFEX, UPS etc.

A courier service has been as fastest easiest method of exporting and importing of goods including bitter-kola. DHL is more expensive than some other courier service, so I advice you make your choice for the cheapest and effective transportation method you will use for exporting you bitter-kola

 Writing your proposal letter for export product

 Writing a proposal is as much fun as having your teeth drilled and reading them is a whole lot better

So why do customers ask for proposal?

While one motivation is that the customer or the buyer wants to compare offers from  various suppliers to make sure they buy the highest value proposition

Whatever the buyer or customer’s motivation, the fact is that proposal writing has become a common requirement for closing a business sales through out the entire business world

Sample below:

 Writing a winning proposal

There are four categories of content that proposal must contain to maximize your choice of winning the business deals

v     Evidence that you understand business problem and need: Whatever is the client interest you must show that you understand it and have  based your solution on it

v     A compelling reason for the client to choose recommendation over others: you must make a stronger case which provide a higher return on investment, lower total cost, faster payback or some similar measure of value that matters to the customer.

v     A recommendation for a specific approach, program, system design or an application that will solve the problem  and produce positive business result: A recommendation explicit links the features of a product to the clients need and shows how client will obtain positive result

v     Evidence that you will deliver on time








Dear Sir/Madam

We are into supply of Garcinia Kola, a typical form of herbs that serves as health stimulant and dietary supplements and herbal remedies and has various uses for the production of various types of medicine.

If you require samples, we will be obliged to send it to you, please we hope you will get back to us as soon as possible

We shall package according to your demand and our price and payment terms will be communicated to you as  soon we get your reply

We hope to hear from you soonest as we hope for a mutually beneficial business relationship

The prospective Garcinia Kola foreign buyers might demand for samples to be sent to his company for test or verification. The sample can be in some pieces of 5,7,10 or more pieces of Garcinia Kola As an exporter make sure that the importer show a genuine interest in buying your product before you can send the samples

You can also ask for their courier account, which means that if they have a courier account it does not cost you a dime to send , however if the company does not have a courier account it means you have to bear the cost of the courier service

 You can see how brief the introductory letter/mail is, then you can send the quotation after receiving the reply, your quotation in terms of pro forma invoice stating the price, the quantity, you can supply per kg which is $17Kg/ it is negotiable

If the buyers insist that you should send them more than you can cope with in terms of tones (which is 1000Kg per tone) you have to insist that he should give you a trial order, first that means you can send 50Kg through EMS etc because you are doing it as a small scale exporter and doing the trial order you are already in export business, imaging sending trial order up to 2 to 3 times you will be amazed at the amount of money you will make in dollars

You can see that you can start this business with N20,000 because if you are shipping a trail order pack of 50Kg of bitter-Kola and are buying the bitter-Kola-kola for N150 per Kg that means

Total amount = 50Kg = N7,500

Sending e-mail =

Packaging     =

 Project Implementation Cost Estimates

The project can be carried out on a small or large scale basis. A capital base of N100,000 is enough to start this business on a small scale. Raising this money could be by personal savings of the investor, borrowing from friends and relations, assistance from SMEDAN, loans from Microfinance banks, and/or other feasible sources. The viability of this project will ensure that the account of money raised in funding this project can be generated within two years of operation after all operational expenses are met.

To register as a supplier — follow this link —

Article credit:  Sclogisticsng

For support:

Email: —- —

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How you will make profit in Foodstuff and commodities export – a beginners guide an ecommerce marketplace for foodstuff and commodities export. Cokodeal platform supports hundreds of businesses to connect with international buyers and succeed daily. If you find this article valuable, kindly share with others. “We rise by lifting others”  SELL HERE


Do you want to know how to start an export business in Nigeria?

Do you want to get involved in an industry that contributes more than 23% to the Metals

Starting an export business in Nigeria comes with its own challenges but with this guide, you should have all the information you need to decide if this industry is for you? Now over to you. What challenges are you facing with starting your export business?

Steps by Step Guide to Starting An Export Business in Nigeria


Step 1:  Register A Business Name:

When you have decided to go into business, registering the business is the next thing to do. It saves one from a lot of legal issues when one registers the company with Corporate Affairs Commission

There are different categories of the business registration in Nigeria. They include;

  • Registration of the business name,
  • Registration for Private Limited Company (LTD),
  • Public Limited Company (PLC),
  • Company Limited by Guarantee (LTD/GTE),
  • Unlimited Company (ULTD)
  • Incorporated Trustee.


The one that is likely to concern you as a small and medium company is the registration of the business name and probably Limited Limited Company (LLC).


Here is the basic step to register a business name:

  • The first thing you do is actually find a business name.


  • Go to the Corporate Affairs Commission Office nearest to you to obtain a Form for application with a token. On the form, you would fill your name, address, the type of company you want to register for and your business name (you would be given the opportunity to pick the first choice and an alternate name in case the first name is not available). Before you submit the form, make sure you make a photocopy so they can use it to find your form when you get back. After submission, you would be required to come back in three days to find out if the name(s) is available for use.


  • Then you have to visit again about a week to two weeks later to find out if the name has been approved. If the name has been approved, then you proceed to the business registration.


  • You will be presented with a business registration form to fill, which should be filled carefully. Do not hesitate to ask for help or clarification when you do not understand, so you do not make mistakes. You will also be required to pay another sum of money (about 10,000 or more) when you want to submit the form. After submission, you would be given an affidavit/attestation form, which you would be required to take to a magistrate court for endorsement. The court would also collect a token for that.


  • You would be required to submit certain documents with the registration form. Check this website to see the documents and all the requirements necessary to save time. Also, you might also want to confirm from those who have done ahead of you to be accurate in all.


  • If you have your attestation, the registration form, requirements and payment of the required fees, you go back to CAC office to submit them. If everything goes as planned, you should be able to receive your business name certification in one or two weeks. But considering the Nigerian factor, it might extend that time.

Note that many of these things can be done online when you visit CAC page online. A lot of people, however, are still skeptical about going using the online steps because of the hitches involved with online things in Nigeria but trust the manual method more. It is however left to use to choose which you would prefer


Step 2. Find Products To Export

Now that you have registered your business name, you are ready to start exporting. But before you do that, you need to decide on what exactly you want to export.

There are a lot of items you can export especially agricultural items.

This is a very important stage that you would pass through if you decide to go into export business. It is quite easy to decide to go into export business but more difficult to decide which particular one to go in for.


There are quite a number of products one can trade in but the circumstances surrounding each one differs, so it is imperative to have an idea of what each entails before one involves in it.


Otherwise, it could pose a problem later. The points below would help in finding the product to export.


How to Decide on What to Export:


  • Examine trends: Every business examines trends, from fashion to investment bankers. Trends drive a business and it helps businessmen go into business with their eyes wide open. Before you go into a business, whether this particular export business or any business, in particular, it is important to know if it is something in vogue, something people are interested in and talking about and something that would sell. This is what people find out when they do a market survey. Luckily, at this time, the internet is there at our disposal and it would save a lot of stress to find out what people are saying.
  • Consider your passion: The place of passion in doing whatever you want to do cannot be overemphasized. When you have a passion for whatever it is you are doing, it will push you when the going gets tough. There is no need sugar coating it and making it look like it would all go smoothly. There is nothing worth having that doesn’t face challenges. But when one is faced with challenges, the motivation is usually the passion they have. So you might want to consider something you have a passion for.
  • Check the competition: This is in two ways. Although economists say monopoly brings complacency, too much competition also saps business. You do not want to trade in a particular product that has so many competitions except you are sure you are adding something new to it. Also, you would need to research your competitors (both international and local) so as to learn about them and see what you can do differently or how not to repeat their mistakes.
  • Make research: Check all the products and learn all you need to learn about them. This might take time but it is better time spent preparing than the time that would be wasted after all is put into the business. So make a list of all the possible products you can trade in and do extensive research on each so as to make a more informed decision.
  • Identify government/customs policy: Identify the import and export laws provided by your country and the country you would likely want to trade with. The customs laws on each of those goods would also help you make an informed decision on the product that is worth trading in.
  • Identify your market: You have to not only identify particular buyers but also the country they would be in. it is recommended that you find out more than one buyer and may be just a country as a start to see how they would react to the product you want to trade in.


Step 3: Source for Foreign Buyers of Your Product


The next question that is likely to bug your mind is how to find buyers because really, what is the point of having a product that is not demanded. It is necessary for the survival of your business to have people who would be interested in buying what you have to offer. It can be more complicated when you cannot see the buyers as in the case of local trade where you can speak one on one to them. In the case of international trade, you would need to strategize in order to get buyers

  • Go online: The internet has really made life a whole lot easier than we would have thought. There is hardly any information that one needs that one cannot find on the internet. All you need to do is go through the different search engines available to find people who would be interested in what you are selling. You could also go through e-markets such as cokodeal to find the people whose business would need the product you are selling.
  • Chamber of Commerce: Different countries have their Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria, as well as the bilateral Chamber of Commerce. You can learn a lot about trade in these countries by visiting them and luckily, they have websites that you can visit easily. All you have to do is search for them online
  • Attend Trade fairs: Trade fairs or trade shows are exhibitions where different companies in a particular industry come together to exhibit their products and services. It is organized for marketing and networking. If you attend some, you would have a good idea of particular individuals or companies that would be interested in your work.
  • Register with National Export Boards: The NEPC (Nigerian Export Promotion Council) for instance is tasked with promoting the business of Nigerian exporters. It will do your business good to register with NEPC, so they can register you as a Nigerian exporter and commit to referring you to buyers on inquiry. They also organize trade fairs to create a buyer-seller relationship.
  • Buying agents: Many businesses abroad have buying agents who come into the country to help them buy their products instead of them transacting virtually with buyers. So you can make contact with these buying agents and show what you are selling to them.
  • Online Ads: The internet has made the world a global village. So from your little corner in Nigeria, you can reach the world about your products. You can run ads like Google ads or Facebook/ Instagram ads to showcase your business to areas far beyond your scope of reach.
  • Contact Industry associations: Some industries have associations that contracting can help you get a list of companies that might be interested in what you are selling. All you would need to do is contact them and request for a list of their companies and for those that have a website, it is even easier.
  • Social media platforms: Social media has evolved and it has gone far beyond a platform to just share pictures and catch up with friends. A lot of businesses are expanding through getting involved on social media. All of them can serve as a platform to connect with buyers but LinkedIn (which was built with professionalism in mind) and Facebook especially can really help you find what you are looking for. Make sure right from your profile, what you do is clear.


Step 4: Find Suppliers of Your Product

The suppliers of your products are very important to the success of your business. What would make the buyers keep coming to you is the quality of your product and you can only determine the quality of your product by the kind of suppliers you get.

That is why it is important to take the time to find the right suppliers. There are two categories to consider when sourcing for suppliers. Those two categories are; how to find suppliers and what to look out for when finding suppliers.



  • Go online: You are probably wondering if everything has to do with the internet. Yes, the internet practically has everything you need. So, go online to search for suppliers of whatever product you are looking for. Many people have issues searching on Google. The trick to searching on Google is finding the keywords. So, it would help if you use different words interchangeably. Words like wholesale, supplier, wholesaler, and distributor combined with the product. Also, you could search for words like “cocoa wholesaler” or “wholesaler of cocoa.” Basically, you have to use different words till you get what you are looking for. Additionally, you can search for directories of manufacturers or ads to direct your search. Find local suppliers on


  • Trade fairs: Trade fairs have been explained above and you can find different suppliers when you go to trade fairs to reduce your stress. If you have contacts in the industry, then it makes it easier. Even if you do not meet the exact supplier of your product, you are bound to see someone that can point you to what you are looking for. Make sure you mingle when you go to trade fairs. Do not just stay on your own, expecting answers to come from heaven. Speak to people and you would be surprised how much information you would leave with.
  • Referral: You can also find suppliers by referral. You can talk to people who are already in the business and gone ahead of you to tell you who their suppliers are. You can also ask around your circle, you might be surprised how much information the people around you would supply you with. You could as well ask on the social media platforms if you just might get answers.


What to look out for:

After you have found your supplier, you need to look out for certain things. Sometimes, you might have to have done business with them a time or two to determine if they are worth doing business with. So, it is not in all situations that you would make your decisions without trial. However, even before trial, there are quite a number of things to look out for.

  • Stability: You want to look out for the supplier that has been around for a while, not one that is here today and gone tomorrow. You can ask other customers for a review to determine how stable the supplier is. The length of presence can be an indication that they can be trusted.
  • Another point to look out for is reliability. In this case, you might have to do business with them first. One of the things to watch out for is the service. Do they keep to time? Do they send the right amount of products requested? How do they package the products? Are they competent? How often do they stay updated? These are some of the questions to ask yourself.
  • Quality: You can never go wrong with quality. Substandard products have destroyed many businesses and you do not want to end up the same. So watch out for the quality of their products.
  • Price: Of course, the price is another factor. You have to put many things into consideration to determine the price to go with. Note that it would affect your business if you go with a less quality product because it is cheaper. So, the point is not beat down the price at all costs but to find a reasonable price as well as a quality product because price can chase potential buyers as well. So you have to put the logistics and your profit into consideration.
  • Location: The farther they are from you, the costlier the cost of transportation and they would affect the ultimate price of your goods. So only go for long distance suppliers when you are sure you have exhausted all the options of those near you. Also, check the place where the products are warehoused if it is safe and would not reduce the quality of the products.


Step 5: Determine the Price of Your Product

Once you have put everything in place, the next thing is to start selling your product. But before you do that, you need to determine how much you will be selling your product.

To arrive at the right price, you will need to

  • Take an inventory of all you had to do to get your product and the final shipping to the buyers and make a calculation. Make sure not to leave anything out of all you spent – all the export duties or even translation cost if you had to employ a translator – so you do not run at a loss.
  • You will then have to do a market research to see what price others are selling, what buyers are willing to pay and also the rate of demand. Sometimes, the demand might affect your price. A product on high demand will enjoy higher price than one without much market demand.
  • You might also have to match the prices of other sellers on the market if you have many competitors. This is because if you sell a lot higher than others, your buyers might walk considering they have many options.


Step 6: Get a handle on Logistics

An exporter needs to learn how to ship and all other requirements for hitch-free transportation of the goods. The exporter is expected to know how to pack and label the product correctly, document properly and insure against any damage. Quite a number of exporters employ the services of freight forwarders to take care of all the logistics.

Quite a number of exporters employ the services of freight forwarders to take care of all the logistics.

  • Packing: A lot of products have been lost in transit due to poor packing. The major problems are usually moisture due to rain or humidity as a result of lack of ventilation, breakage due to piling up the goods together or when moving them, weight and theft. So you have to pack the goods right to avoid all these problems. Try to find the right materials to package your products in to avoid moisture, breakage and so it can take whatever weight would be piled up on it. And also avoid labeling with brand or content name to avoid theft.
  • Labeling: Although it is better not to label the products with the brand and content name, it is also expected to label the goods. The label will be known to be a buyer as well so as to make it easy for them to identify the goods. Some of the major items to add to the label include; shipper’s mark, country of origin (exporters’ country), number of packages and size of cases (in inches and centimeters), weight marking (in pounds and in kilograms), cautionary markings, such as “This Side Up” or “Use No Hooks” (in English and in the language of the country of destination), handling marks (international pictorial symbols), port of entry, labels for hazardous materials (universal symbols adopted by the International Maritime Organization).
  • Documentation: The product shipping requires a number of documentation, which is majorly based on the requirements of both countries.
  • Commercial invoice: The commercial invoice is a bill for the goods from the buyer to the seller, which includes basic information about the transaction, such as a description of the goods, the address of the shipper and seller, and the delivery and payment terms. The invoice is usually a proof of ownership and to get paid, plus some governments use it to assess customs duties.
  • Bill of lading: Bills of lading are contracts between the owner of the goods and the carrier (as with domestic shipments).
  • Consular invoice: Certain nations require a consular invoice, which is used to control and identify goods. The invoice is purchased from the consulate of the country to which the goods are being shipped and is usually prepared in the language of that country.
  • Certificate of origin: Certificate of origin is simply the certificate indicating the origin of the product. Some nations require it and it can be gotten from the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Inspection certification: Some buyers and countries may want a certificate of inspection conforming to the provisions of the products shipped. Inspection certifications are often performed by independent testing organizations.
  • Dock receipt and warehouse receipt. These receipts are used to transfer accountability when the export item is moved by the domestic carrier to the port of embarkation and left with the international carrier for export.
  • Destination control statement: This statement appears on the commercial invoice, ocean or air waybill of lading, and SED to notify the carrier and all foreign parties that the item may be exported only to certain destinations.
  • Insurance certificate: If you provided insurance, the insurance certificate indicates the provisions of the insurance.
  • Export packing list: The export packing list details the material in each package, specifying the type of package, whether it is a box, crate, drum or carton. It also indicates the individual legal, net, tare, and gross weights and measurements for each package. The list is used by the shipper or forwarding agent to determine the total shipment weight/volume and whether the correct cargo is being shipped. In addition, customs officials may use the list to inspect the cargo. The packing list should be attached to the outside of a package and indicated.
  • Shipping: The type of shipping is also very important. Before shipping, you would need to ask the buyer the where they want the products to be shipped to. It will be safer not to assume. Also, you should consider other factors, like cost, delivery schedule and accessibility of the destination to the buyer before deciding whether to ship by air or the ocean. Also, booking ahead is usually safer.
  • Insurance: Due to damage that could come with the goods, it is safe to ensure the product. The local insurance might not cover the international shipment. However, the buyer or seller, depending on the terms of sale, can apply for insurance with the international insurance carrier or you could contact freight forwarders for more details.

The above step will guide to on the steps to take to begin exporting.



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Article credit:   3timpex, export-gov

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