GST Number: Meaning, Definition, Documents Required to File, and More

For businesses in India with more than Rs. 20 lakh turnover annually, the government has made it compulsory to have the GSTIN. Regarded as the goods and service tax identification number, the GSTIN is the 15-digital number assigned to these businesses. The taxpayer with this number can be a business entity or a supplier. To understand what is GSTIN number, you need to read on.

This post presents everything about the GST number, Get details on the meaning, structure, and application procedure. But first, let’s point out how GSTIN came into being.

Introducing the Advent of GST Number: How Did It Came Into Being?

Back in those days, every dealer was registered under the VAT law of the state government. They were issued the TIN number by the state tax authorities. After the government introduced the GST rule, the GSTIN number replaced the TIN number. So, today, if a business entity registers under the GST in a union territory or state, it gets a unique ID number, which is better called the GSTIN.

Understanding the Structure and Format of GST Number

Under the GST regime, every taxpayer gets a State and PAN-based number, which is a 15-digit number. This is the GSTIN, and the following are the details considering the basic format:

  • The GSTIN full form is the goods and service tax identification number.
  • The first two digits are the state code.
  • The next ten digits are the business or person’s PAN.
  • The 13th digit number is given according to the registration process opted by the company within the PAN.
  • The 14th digital is Z, which is an alphabet.
  • The last digital is the check code, which can detect any error represented by either an alphabet or number.

Documents Required to File for the GST Number

A business or individual who has an annual turnover of Rs. 20 lakhs needs to file for GST. However, the good news is that they do not need to spend additional expenses for registering for GST. The registered dealer can file the returns, and pay liability exists. Alternatively, if the GST is more than the amount for the liability, they can claim a refund by using the GST no. In short, filing for GSTIN is compulsory for these businesses or individuals. The following are the documents required for filing:

  • Form of authorization
  • Photographs
  • The constitution of the taxpayer
  • The address is proof of the business location
  • Details of the account

Applying for GSTIN via the GST Portal: Steps to Follow

The following are the steps you need to follow while applying for GSTIN through the GST portal:

  • Step 1: Visit the official online portal of GST
  • Step 2: After this, you need to go to the option that mentions NEW REGISTRATION. There, you need to fill in the details, like the email address, name, and phone number in the application.
  • Step 3: You will get an OTP to the registered email address or mobile as soon as the portal verifies the details.
  • Step 4: After you complete the verification procedure, you will get the ARN, or Application Reference Number via the given email address or mobile number.
  • Step 5: In the fifth step, you need to fill out Part B of your application. You need to use the ARN for this purpose. The above-mentioned documents are required to complete this step.
  • Step 6: Now, coming to the last step, you must give precise information before uploading the documents. Submit the application using your Aadhaar or DSC OTP.

After you submit Part B, your application will be verified by the GST officer within three working days. The officer may approve the application or ask you to provide more details using the GST-REG-03 form.

Alternatively, you can also apply for the next method to register for GSTIN. For this, you need to visit the GST Seva Kendra. The government has established different service centers to facilitate GST-related things and simplify taxpayers’ burdens associated with the process.

Verifying the GST Number: Steps Included

According to government rules, every taxpayer must have a printed version of their GSTIN number on the product invoices. So, it is important to check for the validity of this number. The following steps can be followed for GST no. verification:

Step 1: Visit the GST portal.

Step 2: Now, you need to check for the option that mentions “Search Taxpayer” present on that menu bar.

Step 3: After this, you must enter your GSTIN and write the captcha code that comes on your screen.

Step 4: If the GSTIN is not valid, your screen will shows a message: ERROR. But if it’s a valid number, the screen pops up with these details:

  • Registration Date
  • GSTIN Status
  • Business type and Structure (Company or Sole proprietorship)
  • Type of Taxpayer (Composition, Regular Taxpayer, or SEZ unit)

So, you have now read about the meaning, format, and application procedure to register your name or business with the GST no. Check out the given FAQs for further details.


How do you know if the GST number is fake?

You can spot fake GSTINs by verifying the number on the official portal. Visit the official website and click on Search by GSTIN or UIN from the ‘Search Taxpayer’ section. After this, you need to fill in the given GST no. and click on submit. If your computer screen pops up with an error message, the number is fake.

Are the meanings of GSTIN and GSTN the same?

No, GSTIN is the goods and services tax number, while GSTN is the goods and service tax network. The latter is an organisation that supervises the whole IT system of the GST portal.

How much do you need to pay to register for your GST number?

You don’t have to pay anything to register for the GSTIN. Under the GST Act, the process is absolutely free of charge.

What’s next after you obtain the GST number?

After you obtain the GSTIN, you need to generate GST-compliant invoices on time. Then, you need to complete the periodic GST returns and pay your GST dues (if and when required).

Can you file a complaint for a forged GST number?

Yes, you can file a complaint for a forged GST number. You need to contact the government phone numbers. Get it from the official portal to proceed further.

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