Query – 1, I want to start an Amazon affiliate and need the GST number, but I don’t have any company or business. So, what should I enter as the entity’s name, and what kind of PAN must I obtain or provide information? 

Amazon Associates/Affiliate refers to an affiliate marketing program. It allows relevant website owners and bloggers to generate links that earn referral fees whenever consumers click through and buy products from Amazon. 

GST registration is compulsory for every e-commerce seller. However, an Amazon affiliate doing affiliate marketing is not a seller. Therefore, if the person is supplying affiliate marketing services across the state or exports such service, he must obtain GST registration mandatorily or else if the person supplies services within the state, registration is needed if the turnover exceeds the threshold limit as per the GST law that varies according to the state. Even if turnover falls below the threshold limit, the person in affiliate marketing can go for a voluntary GST registration to avail benefits of GST.

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In the given case, you can register under GST as a sole proprietor, i.e., in your own name and with your own Permanent Account Number (PAN) voluntarily. 

Query – 2, I am in the garment business and selling on Flipkart & Amazon. I already have a GST registration in one state but do I need to obtain GST registration from other states where there is no physical existence, where my sales belong? If yes, what is the principal place of business? Is it the state before I had GST registration or the one, I’m applying to now? Or,

What about the address where I do not have any physical existence?

Any e-commerce seller must obtain GST registration as per the law to sell online. They need to provide details of the principal place of business and other places of business while registering on the GST portal in form REG-01. 

Both the terms ‘place of business’ and ‘principal place of business’ is defined by law.

In simple words, the place of business is from where the taxable sale is made or has a godown/warehouse present, or where accounts are maintained, or business is carried out through their agent. On the other hand, the principal place of business refers to the one chosen by the taxpayer to be called the principal place of business while obtaining the registration out of their choice.

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From the above definitions, one can understand that where the supply happens is initiated matters compared to where the supply is made or consumed for GST registration. Also, suppose a business sells goods online from one state alone without any godown in any other state or their agent. In that case, it can obtain GST registration for that state only and carry out interstate sales online.

In the given scenario, you sell from one state to customers across India without a physical presence via e-commerce operators. Hence, the single GST registration would be sufficient to run the e-commerce business, provided you don’t initiate sales/source goods from a different state other than the registered state. 

On the other hand, if you choose another state to set up a godown or start an e-commerce business other than in the registered state, it is your choice to select which one of the two can be the principal place of business. Factors such as where the books of accounts are maintained, the state where bank accounts are opened, etc., play a role in this decision-making.

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