Any person, firm, or company that wants to sell across India needs a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number, shortly known as GSTIN. Of course, there are some exceptions, but the general legal practice requires you to enrol for GST. Enrolling your shop or business on the GST portal is a paperless process, which means you do not need any hard copies or printouts. The government’s GST portal has an enrollment functionality that will help you with the process.
Obtaining a GSTIN is not a simple process, though. It has several steps that you need to duly follow to apply for the GST number. And we understand that the entire process could be a little confusing and daunting for many people hoping to register their business. To help you, we have broken down the GST registration process into smaller chunks.
Part 1 – Generating GST Application Form
You will first need to get a Temporary Registration Number (TRN) before you get a GSTIN. To obtain the TRN, you need an Indian mobile number, email address, and PAN (Permanent Account Number) for the business. Remember, these details must belong to the business you are getting the GSTIN for, not you. After you have ensured you have everything, visit the GST portal — www.gst.gov.in.
On the website, you will the “Services” option. Click on the tab and choose the Registration option. On the next page, you will see the “New Registration” option. Click it. On the following page, you will see several text fields where you are required to enter your details. You need to choose whether you are a taxpayer, a tax deductor, a GST practitioner, a non-resident taxable person, a United Nations body, a consulate or an embassy of a foreign country, a non-resident online services provider, or some other notified person. The portal then asks you for your region, business’ legal name, PAN, email address, and mobile number.
Remember the email address and the mobile number have to be operational to receive one-time passwords. After you have entered the details, you need to enter the CAPTCHA for robot verification and then click on “Proceed.” The portal will send OTPs, which will be valid for 10 minutes. If you face any issue with the OTP generation process, you can request new OTPs. Enter the OTPs on the following page. Post authentication, the portal will generate your Temporary Reference Number (TRN).
You will now need to enter your TRN by clicking on the radio button next to the New Registration button on the New Registration page. Enter the CAPTCHA for verification and then click “Proceed.” You will be again asked to verify the process with new OTPs that you will receive on your mobile number and email address. Authenticating the process with both one-time passwords will take you to your “My Saved Application” page. Here you will have to fill out all the necessary details within 15 days. If you do not do so, your TRN will be removed and you will need to repeat the process.
Considering you are willing to complete the process within 15 days, move to the next step.
Part 2 – Filling out the GST Application Form
The GST application form has 10 sections divided into 10 tabs. It is best if you consult a chartered accountant, GST practitioner, or tax consultant to fill out these details for you. These sections require scanned copies of legal documents, such as proof of constitution/incorporation of your business, partnership deed, registration certificate of your business, as well as your bank account number with IFSC. Make sure these details are correct, otherwise your application may be rejected on verification.
After you have filled out all 10 sections correctly, move on to the next step.
Part 3 – Registering your Digital Signature Certificate and submitting your GST Application
You now need to verify your GST application through a digital signature. There are a few prerequisites that you need to keep in mind for obtaining a digital signature. Now, you need to verify the GST application. There are three ways you can do that — a) verification with Digital Signature Certificate, b) verification with e-signature and c) verification with EVC. After you have verified your application using one of these methods, you will receive an Application Reference Number (ARN) on your mobile number and email address. You can use this number to track your application status on the GST portal.
After proper verification, the GST Council will either approve or reject your application. If it is approved, your application will show “Approved” and an email and an SMS will be sent to you informing you that your GSTIN has been created. The same message will also contain a temporary username and password to log into the GST website. Once you have logged into the portal, change your username and password immediately. After three to five days, you will be able to download your Registration Certificate, which will serve as proof of your GSTIN.