How to Start an Export Business in Ethiopia

Any domestic investor can engage in import/ export business in Ethiopia. Check our import/export page

Registration and License: A minimum capital of Br. 5,001.00 is needed to register and get business license. All exporters in Ethiopia, except those who are found in Dire Dawa, should be registered and get their license from the main office of the Ministry of Trade and Industry located near Hilton Hotel or beside Casanchis super market, located in Addis Ababa. Exporters in Dire Dawa can apply in Dire Dawa.

What documents one has to provide is mentioned on our business registration and license page


  • To get principal registration: Br. 80

  • To get summary Registration: Br.10

  • To get new trade name: Br. 80

  • To get New Business License: Br. 80

One can register to export all types of goods allowed for export.  According to the new proclamation number 686/2010, there is no license for General Import/Export. The subcategory has to be specified for all kinds of exports on the business license as per the Ethiopian Standard Industrial Classification. However, it used to be the case that exporting the following goods only needed to be mentioned specifically in the business license.

  • Forestry Products

  • Gemstone

  • Incense and Gum

  • Gum

  • Gold

  • Coffee: special permit/approval is needed from Ethiopian Commodity Exchange: 

  • Live Animals except calves and lambs

  • Tantalum

  • Chat (Qat)

  • Platinum

  • Veterinary Medicine: special permit/approval is needed from Ethiopian Drug Administration and Control Authority (DACA). To know the regulations, guidelines and procedures of permits issued by DACA (permits for Medical Appliances, some kind of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicine), please check DACA’s website: (Phone: +251 11 5524122-23, fax: +251 11 5521392, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; located on Bole Road, adjacent to Shoa supermarket).

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