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How To, Import

How to Start an Import Business in Jewelry and Clothing from India


I am trying to start a business in jewelry and clothes from India. I do not know how and where to start from. I want to make sure I have all the necessary licenses or documents that I may need in order to do this….please advice. Where do I start from? Which licenses do I may need? Any legal documents I may require to prove that I do have a small business in items such as jewelry, clothes home decor, etc. The jewelry is all artificial and clothes are our everyday usage type, nothing pricey or outrageous. All answers are welcome – thanks for your time.


India is an excellent choice for trading. They have a thriving textile industry (textiles are items made of fabric or cloth like clothing, table cloths, etc.) and are eager to do business with the United States. Before starting your business, you’ll want to check with your city, county, or state resources to confirm what requirements you’ll need to meet in order to operate. That’s outside the scope of this article, so I will leave that part to you. So far as importing your items are concerned, you’ll need the following:


If you do not have one already, locating a reputable vendor will be a difficult part of the process. One of the advantages of dealing with Indian importers is the widespread use of English, which should make things easier. Once you have found a vendor, consider placing a sample or small quantity order to get an idea of transit times, quality of the goods, actual pricing after shipping, insurance, etc.


No license is required to import the items you have described from India (or most countries). You can file the import paperwork yourself at your local port office, but since the process can be complicated, I highly suggest you consult with a Customs broker who is licensed to transact business on your behalf.


All import shipments coming into the United States must be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Commercial Invoice stating the country of origin of the goods, their value, the currency used, and the number of units being imported.
  • Packing List – listing quantity and weight for the goods.
  • Customs form 3461 – A formal paper request to Customs to allow the entry of your import. A licensed Customs broker will be able to provide one to you.
  • Customs form 7501 – This form serves as a receipt for US Customs and yourself. It lists the items being imported, their value and the approximate duty you will be expected to pay. This will also be provided by a Customs broker.

Other considerations

Before importing, take some time to research or pay for a sit down visit with your import broker. Talk to them in detail about the type of goods you intend to import (including pictures or samples) and where they will be coming from. They will be able to provide an estimate for the amount of duty you will be responsible for, the classifications for your merchandise, and will be able to advise you on any special trade programs that might be applicable.

Please note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not specific legal advice. As an importer, it is your responsibility to meet all the legal requirements for importing goods.

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