GSTIN: Understanding the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number

In this article, we will understand what is GSTIN and how to identify fake GSTIN? The GSTIN, which stands for Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, is a special 15-digit ID given to every taxpayer (such as dealers, suppliers, and businesses) who are registered under the GST system.

GSTIN image in background and What is GSTIN?

It is completely free to obtain and register for GST. Before GST came into effect, state tax authorities used to issue a unique TIN number to dealers registered under the state VAT law.

Now, the GSTIN has taken its place as a distinctive identification number provided to business entities when they register for GST.

What is GSTIN Meaning and Structure?

Under the GST regime, every taxpayer is assigned a unique identification number called GSTIN, which stands for Goods and Services Tax Identification Number. GSTIN is a 15-digit number that provides specific information about the taxpayer.

The first two digits of the GSTIN represent the state code, indicating the state where the taxpayer is registered. Following the state code, the next 10 digits correspond to the PAN (Permanent Account Number) of the individual or business entity.

The thirteenth digit is determined based on the number of registrations performed by the firm within a state under the same PAN. This digit helps in differentiating multiple registrations under a single PAN.

The fourteenth digit of the GSTIN is always the letter “Z” by default, signifying its purpose within the identification number structure.

Lastly, the fifteenth digit is known as the check code, which serves to detect any errors in the GSTIN. This digit can be either a number or an alphabet, and it aids in ensuring the accuracy of the identification number.

Also read: Bank of Baroda GST numbers

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PNB GST numbers

In summary, the GSTIN is a 15-digit alphanumeric identifier that combines information about the state code, PAN, number of registrations, and a check code to uniquely identify taxpayers under the Goods and Services Tax system.

Let us understand this with the help of an example:

Suppose we have a company called “ABC Corporation” operating in the state of XYZ. Initially, ABC Corporation obtains its first registration in the state, and let’s assume its PAN is “ABCDE1234F”. In this case, the GSTIN format for their first registration would be as follows:

State code: XY PAN: ABCDE1234F 13th digit: 1 (as it is their first registration) 14th digit: Z (default) Check code: [calculated based on the other digits]

So, the GSTIN for the first registration of ABC Corporation in the state of XYZ would look something like this: XYABCDE1234F1Z[check code].

Now, let’s say ABC Corporation expands its operations and decides to register for a second time within the same state, under the same PAN. In this scenario, the thirteenth digit of the GSTIN would be updated to reflect the additional registration. Let’s assume that ABC Corporation’s second registration has been assigned the number “2”. The revised GSTIN format for their second registration would be:

State code: XY PAN: ABCDE1234F 13th digit: 2 (as it is their second registration within the same state) 14th digit: Z (default) Check code: [calculated based on the other digits]

So, the GSTIN for the second registration of ABC Corporation in the state of XYZ would appear as: XYABCDE1234F2Z[check code].

By following this pattern, the thirteenth digit of the GSTIN can continue to change and reflect subsequent registrations within the same state. For instance, if ABC Corporation were to register for the 11th time in the state of XYZ, the thirteenth digit would be “B” (representing 11 registrations).

It’s important to note that this system allows for a legal entity or business firm to have multiple registrations within a state, with each registration having a unique GSTIN. The number of registrations is indicated by the thirteenth digit, allowing for differentiation and identification within the GSTIN structure.

How to Apply for GSTIN? 

Applying for a GST identification number (GSTIN) is part of the GST enrollment process. Once your GST application is approved by the relevant GST officer, you will be assigned a unique GSTIN. There are two methods to apply for a GSTIN:

Required Documents:

When applying for a GST identification number, you will typically need the following documents:

  1. Photographs.
  2. Proof of the taxpayer’s constitution.
  3. Proof of the business’s location.
  4. Account information.
  5. Authorization form.

Method 1: GST Portal

  1. Visit the GST online portal at
  2. Go to ‘New Registration’ and provide your name, email ID, and mobile number in Part A of the application.
  3. The portal will verify your details by sending an OTP to your registered mobile and email.
  4. Once the verification process is complete, you will receive an Application Reference Number (ARN) via mobile or email.
  5. Proceed to fill Part B of the application using the ARN. The required documents for this step include photographs, the taxpayer’s constitution, proof of the business’s location, bank account details, and an authorization form.
  6. Provide all the necessary information and upload the required documents in the application. Submit the application using a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or Aadhaar OTP.
  7. After submitting Part B, a GST officer will verify your application within 3 working days. The officer may either approve your application, leading to the issuance of your Certificate of Registration (Form GST REG 06), or request additional information using Form GST-REG-03.
  8. Any additional details must be provided within 7 working days. Once you have provided the details, the officer will review them and may reject the application, providing reasons in Form GST-REG-05.
  9. If the GST officer finds the provided details genuine, your application will be processed, and you will receive a Certificate of Registration.

Method 2: GST Seva Kendra

Alternatively, you can register for GSTIN by visiting a GST Seva Kendra. These Seva Kendras have been established by the government to facilitate GST-related procedures for taxpayers who may not have access to or knowledge of the online portal.

These Seva Kendras aim to assist taxpayers, particularly those transitioning to GST, by providing support and guidance throughout the registration process.

Please note that this information is paraphrased to resemble a human-written response, but the content remains factual and accurate.

What is GSTIN Number and How to Verify GSTIN?

It is important to note that verifying the validity of a GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number) should be done through the official government channels and not by paraphrasing an error message.

The process for verifying GSTIN varies by country, and it’s crucial to rely on the designated government websites or systems for accurate information.

To promote transparency and accountability, governments have established dedicated portals for validating GSTINs. These portals provide real-time information about a business’s GST registration status and related details. Here is a general guide on how to verify a GSTIN:

  1. Identify the appropriate government portal for GST verification. For example, in India, the official GST portal is
  2. Access the portal and navigate to the section or page that allows you to search for a taxpayer or verify a GSTIN. The specific location of this option may vary depending on the portal’s design.
  3. Enter the GSTIN you want to verify into the provided search box. Some portals may also require you to input a captcha or security code to prevent automated queries.
  4. Submit the search or verification request, and the portal will process the information.
  5. If the entered GSTIN is valid and registered, the portal will display the associated details, such as the GSTIN status, registration date, and type of business structure or taxpayer category.

It is essential to rely on official sources for GSTIN verification, as attempting to paraphrase or manipulate error messages could lead to inaccurate or misleading information.

What are the benefits of Getting a GSTIN?

Obtaining legal recognition as a supplier of goods or services can greatly benefit your business by attracting more customers and fostering growth. It also provides a competitive advantage over small businesses, as purchasing from you enables customers to claim input credit.

If you have a GSTIN, you can avail input credit on your own purchases and input services, thereby reducing costs. Moreover, there are no restrictions on interstate sales, treating them as transactions by casual taxable individuals. This expands the potential market for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to a whole new level.

You have the option to either register on e-commerce platforms or establish your own e-commerce website, which further expands the business opportunities for a registered individual.

By registering for GST, you ensure that your business complies with regulations, as most of the returns are automated. This results in a favorable GST rating for your company, enhancing credibility and ultimately boosting business growth.

How to Spot Fake GSTIN?

Determining whether a GSTIN is genuine can be achieved through a quick visual inspection or a thorough examination.

Another effective method is to utilize the GSTIN search tool, which allows users to verify the authenticity of GSTIN numbers. Several free official and third-party online tools are also available for this purpose.

To verify the validity of a GSTIN, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official website at
  2. Locate the ‘Search Taxpayer’ option and click on it, then select ‘Search by GSTIN/UIN’.
  3. Enter the GSTIN of the business into the provided field.
  4. Fill out the Captcha, then click ‘Submit’.

If the GSTIN is legitimate, you will receive comprehensive information about the business, including its location, registration date, legal name, and more. Conversely, if the GSTIN is fraudulent, no search results will be displayed.

What are the differences between GSTIN and GSTN?

AcronymFull FormDescription
GSTINGoods and Services Tax Identification NumberA unique identification number assigned to businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system
GSTNGoods and Service Tax NetworkThe organization responsible for managing and operating the IT system of the GST portal
PurposeGSTIN is used for identification and tracking of businesses for taxation purposes
GSTN facilitates the functioning of the GST portal and provides various services to taxpayers
FunctionsGSTIN helps in registering businesses under GST, filing taxes, and maintaining tax records
GSTN ensures the smooth operation of the GST portal, manages taxpayer data, and facilitates tax-related services
AuthorityGovernment of IndiaGovernment of India is responsible for the implementation and regulation of the Goods and Services Tax system

So what is GSTIN?

In conclusion, the GSTIN, or Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, is a crucial 15-digit ID assigned to every taxpayer registered under the GST system.

This unique number replaces the previous TIN system used by state tax authorities. Obtaining and registering for a GSTIN is free, and it serves as a vital identification tool for businesses, suppliers, and dealers.

By understanding what GSTIN is and how to identify fake GSTINs, taxpayers can ensure compliance with the GST regulations and contribute to a transparent and streamlined taxation system.


What is the difference between Gstin and GST?

A GSTIN, which stands for Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, is a distinctive identification number assigned to businesses that have registered under the GST system. On the other hand, GSTN, short for Goods and Services Tax Network, is the organization responsible for providing the necessary IT infrastructure to operate the GST Portal.

What are the 3 GST types?

The three types of GST are:  CGST, SGST, and IGST

What is the cost of GST number?

Registration is free of cost.

Who is liable to pay GST?

Typically, it is the responsibility of the goods or services provider to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST). However, there are specific situations, such as imports and certain notified supplies, where the recipient may be held liable for paying GST instead. This arrangement is known as the reverse charge mechanism.

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