Goods and Services Tax Identification Number [GSTIN]

Last Update Date : April 29, 2019
Estimated Read Time: 6 min

GSTIN Explained in Detail

What is GSTIN?

All the business entities registering under GST will be provided a unique identification number known as GSTIN or GST Identification Number.

Currently any dealer registered under state VAT law has a unique TIN number assigned to him by state tax authorities. Similarly, service tax registration number is assigned to a service provider by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Under GST regime, all these parties will come under one single authority and the different identification numbers will be replaced by a single type of registration number for everyone (GSTIN). This will ensure better administration by the authorities and greater compliance by taxpayers and hopefully improve tax collection.

GSTIN Number Format Explained in DetailSample GSTIN Number

  • Every taxpayer will be assigned a state-wise PAN-based Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN), which will be 15 digits long.
  • The first two digits of GSTIN will represent the state code according to Indian Census 2011. Each state has a unique two digit code like “27” for Maharashtra and “10” for Bihar.
  • The next ten digits of GSTIN will be the PAN number of the taxpayer.
  • The 13th digit indicates the number of registrations an entity has within a state for the same PAN.
  • It will be an alpha-numeric number (first 1-9 and then A-Z) and will be assigned on the basis of number of registrations a legal entity (having the same PAN) has within one state.   For example, if a legal entity has single or one registration only within a state then it will be assigned the number “1” as 13th digit of the GSTIN. If the same legal entity gets another or second registration for a second business vertical within the same state, then the 13th digit of GSTIN assigned to this entity will become “2”. Similarly, if an entity has 11 registrations in the same state then it will be assigned letter “B” in the 13th place. This way up to 35 business verticals of any legal entity can be registered within a state using this system.
  • The fourteenth digit currently has no use and therefore will be “Z” by default.
  • The last digit will be a check code which will be used for detection of errors.

How to apply for GSTIN in India?

There are two ways to register for GST after which GSTIN will be provided which are:

  1. GST online portal or;
  2. GST Seva Kendra set up by Government of India.
  • Follow the mentioned steps below to register online through GST Portal:
    1. Log on to (1), for registration. Go under the services tab and select registration and choose new registration.
    2. Enter all the requested details asked i.e. your PAN number, email address and mobile number etc. After filling all the details click proceed.
    3. Two OTPs to verify your registered mobile number and email-id will be generated. The time limit to verify will be 10 minutes and can be regenerated if needed.
    4. After this you will be provided temporary reference number. To use it, either click proceed or again under the tab services->Registration->New
    5. Registration and select the Temporary Reference Number(TRN) option to login using TRN.
    6. In the Temporary Reference Number field write your TRN and enter the captcha text as shown. It will generate a OTP different from the above OTPs on mobile/email-id.
    7. Then you will be directed to ‘My saved application” page. You can fill the form within 15 days.
  • How to Fill the GST Form
    This section has 10 sub-sections or tabs, select the respective tabs to edit them. You need scanned documents for this section:

    1. Valid bank Account Number and IFSC code
    2. Proof of constitution/ incorporation of business
    3. Proof of primary place of business
    4. Photo of promoter, HUF or partner etc whichever is applicable w.r.t. situation
    5. Photo of Authorized Signatory
    6. First page of Passbook/statement containing acc. Number, branch and acc. Holder’s address etc.


  • After checking that you have all the required documents, start filling the enrolment form:
    • Fill in all the mandatory tabs asking for your details as specified, and click Save and Continue.
    • Fill the mandatory details asked in ‘business’ and the ‘partners’ /’promoters’ tab. Make sure you provide proof of constitution.
    • Fill in the ‘Authorized Signatory’ information. In case you want to e-sign the form then the mobile/email of the Authorized signatory will be used. If you wish to sign with the DSC, then the PAN of the Authorized signatory should be linked with the DSC.
  • Further few tabs such as ‘Primary place of business’ Tab, ‘Goods and Services’ Tab, ’Bank Accounts’ Tab are needed to be filled similarly using the relevant documents above.


  • Registering your digital signature Certificate
    • To verify your GST application, you need to sign it digitally. It is compulsory for companies/LLPs. You can only use the digital signature of the Authorized Signatory specified in the registration form.
  • Verification and submission of your GST Application
    • You can submit the application by choosing any of the 3 methods:
  • After the completion of the submission, Application Reference Number (ARN) will be generated and sent to your mobile number and email id. You can use this to track the status of your application by going to ‘Services’ tab under that ‘Registration’ and then select ‘Track Application’.
  • Once the request is approved, an email and SMS will be received conveying message that GSTIN is generated and will contain a temporary username and password for login. After logging in using the received username and password, click on ‘First time Login’ option at the bottom of page, you will have to change your username and password that was provided to you.
  • You will be able to download Registration Certificate within 3-5 days from ‘Services’ -> ’User Services’ -> ’View or Download Certificates’ and then select the download button.

How can H&R Block help you?

If you find the process of registering under GST difficult to follow, you can consider outsourcing the task to us by opting for our GST Registration service. The GST experts at H&R Block will provide step-by-step guidance during the entire process and also fill out the application form for you.

Focus on your business, not GST. Leave that to H&R Block experts.

Difference between GSTIN and GSTN

GSTIN is registration number under GST for unique identification. Whereas, the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) is an organization which manages the entire IT system of the GST portal. The government of India uses this portal to track every financial transaction and provides taxpayers all the services from registration to filing taxes and maintaining all tax details.

[ Read: GSTN Portal Services ]

People also ask

Q. Is there any fee for obtaining GSTIN through GST portal?

A. No, there is no charge or fee applicable for enrolment under GST and obtaining GSTIN.

Q. Will existing taxpayers under Central Excise or Service Tax or State VAT have to apply for fresh registration under GST?

A. The answer is no. All taxpayers with PAN validated from CBDT’s database are not required to apply for fresh registration under GST. They can get a provisional GSTIN from the GST portal with a validity of 6 months, so that they can provide the relevant data as per the GST registration form.

Once they complete the data filing process, their provisional registration will get converted into a regular registration. After this, further notification by relevant tax authorities will be issued, giving timelines.

However, the service tax assessees having centralized registration will have to apply for a fresh registration in the respective states wherever they operate their businesses.

Focus on your business, not GST. Leave that to H&R Block experts.
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CA Ankita Mathur
CA Ankita Mathur
Ankita, a Big 4 alumna, is a tax expert at H&R Block (India) with vast experience in managing GST-related business services. An avid traveller, Ankita is a regular contributor to the CAclubindia and loves helping people understand about GST and helping companies be GST compliant.