What is GST Number / GSTIN?

Author
By Sakshi Shah on March 27, 2019

GST number or GSTIN i.e. GST Identification Number is a unique number issued to a business registered under GST. It is a 15 digit number allotted on the basis of the PAN of the business. GSTIN can be verified on the GST Portal.
It is important to  verify the GSTIN of a taxpayer to ensure that the GSTIN quoted by them on the documents actually belongs to them. Further, it is important to ensure that the GSTIN on the invoice is valid since many sellers enter a fake GSTIN to fraudulently charge GST from the buyers.

GSTIN Structure:

GST Number / GSTIN format

The structure of GST Number or GSTIN is as follows:

CharacterMeaning
First two digitsState code
Next 10 digitsPAN of the business
13th digitNumber of registrations in a state
14th digitDefault charachter ā€˜Zā€™
Last digitChecksum digit or number
  • The 13th digit denotes the number of registrations in the state. It is an alpha-numeric number under which first 1 to 9 are assigned and then A to Z.
  • The 14th digit is a default character based on the nature of the business. Eg: Z is used in case of a regular taxpayer.
How can I search GSTIN by PAN?
GSTIN structure for Non-Resident Taxpayer_NRTP
  • In case of a Non-Resident Taxpayer i.e. NRTP, the GSTIN is issued in absence of PAN. Thus, the next 10 digits in GSTIN would be tax identification number by which the foreign government identifies such person.
How can I verify GSTIN of a business?

How to get a GSTIN?

To obtain a GST Numer or GSTIN for a business:

  • The business needs to make application for registration on the GST Portal
  • Submit the required documents and information while making application for GST registration
  • The tax officer would process the application and ask for clarification if required
  • Once the tax officer approves the application, he would issue a GSTIN for the business
  • The process of applying for registration and obtaining GSTIN is free of cost.
GST Registration Process online on GST Portal

FAQs

1. What is the fee to apply for a GSTIN?

To issue GSTIN there is no fee charged by the government. However, a professional fee may be charged if services of a GST Practitioner or a Chartered Accountant are used. I

2. How is GSTIN different from GSTN?

Both terms are completely different.
GSTIN i.e. Goods and Services Tax Identification Number is a unique number allotted to a business registered under GST.
GSTN i.e. Goods and Services Tax Network is the organisation which provides the IT infrastructure to run the GST Portal.