How to Get TIN Number For Ecommerce Startup

If you are here to find out how to get TIN number, chances are that you tried to register to sell your products online on Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart or any other online retail ecommerce portal in India, and they told you to get a TIN number first.  

TIN number

TIN stands for Taxpayer Identification Number, and it is a unique 11-digit number provided to businesses in India that have registered for VAT (value added tax). If you are just starting a business, you don’t necessarily have to register for VAT and get a TIN number until you cross the annual turnover threshold of Rs. 10 lakhs.   

But an ecommerce startup trying to sell products online on the big retail portals will need to get TIN number right away because they don’t accept businesses that aren’t registered for VAT. The TIN number you provide is there on all your bills and invoices, and serves as proof that you are able to get the VAT benefit and hopefully pass it on to your customers when you sell goods. Note that you also have to file VAT returns regularly once you are registered.

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How to Apply for VAT and Get TIN Number

You can apply for VAT/TIN online on the VAT e-Registration website of the Dept. of Commercial Tax, Govt. of Karnataka. Fill up all the required forms and information about your business, attach the required documents, and pay the registration fee. Form 1 is for your main place of business, with Form 3 additionally required if you have other business locations also. Form 4 is for partnership firms.

Basic documentation required (for individuals and sole proprietorships) is your PAN card copy, along with address proof (rental agreement / ownership and electricity bill) for business and residence, plus ID proof, bank details, and photographs. The requirements for registered companies and partnership firms are different.

Once the VAT inspector has inspected your premises, you will also have to pay a security deposit. When you fulfilled all the requirements, the Commissioner of VAT will issue your registration certificate, and you will get your login user ID and password for filing VAT returns.   

Registrations Before and After You Get TIN Number

Depending on the nature of the business, an ecommerce startup may need to apply for and secure a few different registrations and licenses, in addition to your VAT registration.

  1.  Shops and Establishments Act: This ‘shop act’ registration is needed if you want to set up a physical shop. Also, it is very essential for opening a bank a/c and getting your own payment gateway for your online store.
  2. CST/ VAT registration : If you are going to be selling goods, then VAT or CST (between states) is needed once your annual turnover crosses Rs. 10 lakhs.
  3. Service tax : Registration for service tax is mandatory and may be required once your annual sales turnover crosses 10 lakhs.
  4. Professional Tax : This tax is mandatory even if you have a single employee. Each state is allowed to create its own guidelines, so you should check if it is advisable / mandatory to register for professional tax in your particular state.

All these registrations and licenses may vary from state to state, so please make sure you check your state’s guidelines and regulations (exemptions, if any) to know better.

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