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The inclusion of technology in the taxation system of India increased rapidly with the implementation of GST. For a populace like that of India, this shift was a challenging one. Digital literacy was minimal, and users lacked the knowledge to flourish within the GST system.

In such an atmosphere, provisions like the ARN make this process simpler. This number comes in great use for an applicant to not feel directionless and lost after applying for registration. However, to make the most of ARN’s benefits, it is important to ensure that it is verified and approved.

Read further to learn more about the features of ARN. This piece will highlight its benefits and demystify the process involved in attaining it and what follows it.

What is ARN?

ARN stands for Application Reference Number. It is generated at the time of applying to the GST portal. The GST System Portal assigns a unique number for performing any transaction under this provision. ARN can also be used in the future GST course.

An ARN number is created automatically after successfully submitting an enrollment application at the GST System Portal. ARN can also be used to track the position of your enrollment application. It will help existing taxpayers to migrate into the new GST system. The GST portal is the official portal created by the government, which is the platform for these activities. The ARN number is used to check the GST registration status online. This number is received automatically on the submission and displayed on the acknowledgement receipt received after application submission.

Keeping the ARN safe and handy until the complete processing of the application is advised. This number is associated with tracking the specific application it is generated upon. ARN can be used to directly track the application status on the GST portal website, or some third-party services also provide tracking of the application status using the ARN.

The format of ARN is as follows:

  • The first two codes of the 15-digit alpha-numeric ARN code are alphabets.
  • The next two numbers are reflective of the state code.
  • The next four codes represent the month and year.
  • The unique number generated by the system is the next six digits.
  • The final code shows the checksum digit.

Also Read: What is the ARN in Processing?

What Does ARN Status Approved Mean?

After successfully submitting the registration application on the GST approval, you automatically receive the ARN. This does not mean guaranteed registration because the application can still be rejected based on missing information. Even the GSTIN is received until the entire process is complete. It often allows claiming ITC but doesn’t automatically activate the benefit.

The approval of ARN status can mean several things, some of which are:

  1. Application is Complete and Compliant

This indicates that the information provided and documents submitted meet the basic requirements for GST registration.

  1. Processing has Begun

The application has progressed to the next stage, where officials may conduct additional checks or request clarifications.

  1. Potential for ITC Claim

An approved ARN permits the claim of ITC on eligible purchases even before obtaining the final GSTIN.

  1. Signal of Credibility and Trust

Sharing the ARN with potential clients or suppliers showcases the commitment to complying with GST regulations.

Once the ARN is received, you can easily track the application status and monitor the status regularly on the GST portal to stay updated on any further actions. The ARN and acknowledgement receipt must be kept safe for future reference. An approved ARN is the first step towards GST registration, but it is important to understand its limitations and follow the process until you receive the final GSTIN.

Also Read: How Do I Verify An ARN Number?

The Process of Obtaining ARN Status Approval

There are two primary steps involved in obtaining ARN status approval. These involve filing the GST application and tracking its approval process. The process is explained below.

  1. Submitting the GST application

The first step in acquiring an ARN is applying for registration. For this, you need to submit the GST application and keep in mind the following pointers:

  • Eligibility

You should meet the criteria for GST registration based on your business activities and turnover.

  • Correct Registration Form

GSTN offers different forms depending on the business type. For instance, new taxpayer, existing business, casual taxable person, etc.

  • Collect Documents

Prepare all necessary documents like ID proofs, address proofs, bank statements, and business licenses according to the chosen form.

  • Fill and Submit the Online Application

Carefully fill the form on the GST portal with accurate information and upload the required documents.

  • Pay the Applicable Fees

Submit the required fees for registration processing.

  • Receive Acknowledgement and ARN

Upon successful submission, an acknowledgement receipt is received which contains the unique ARN.

  1. Following the application progress and obtaining approval

After successful submission and once the ARN is generated, you can track the GST application status and navigate the following features.

  • Track application status

Check the application status using your ARN on the GST portal.

  • Respond to requests 

If the authorities require additional information promptly address them to avoid delays.

  • Wait for verification

The authorities will verify the application details and documents. This may involve physical verification at the business premises.

  • Receive approval

If the application is approved, a notification is received and the ARN status will be updated on the portal.

  • Download GSTIN

Once approved, you have the option to download the GST registration certificate that includes your unique GSTIN.

Benefits of Having ARN Status Approved

The ARN takes control of the GST journey and must be verified. It allows the applicant to benefit from the transparency and makes the process efficient. A verified ARN opens the way for a smooth GST registration experience and‌ a successful business under the new taxation system.

A few benefits of an approved ARN status are:

  1. Transparency

Having a confirmed ARN provides transparency about the application status. It informs applicants whether their application is being processed, undergoing verification, or moving towards approval. This understanding allows planning for business operations.

  1. Increased Confidence

Confirmation of the ARN eliminates doubts and increases confidence. It assures that the system has received the application, allowing individuals to focus on business growth without uncertainty.

  1. Avoiding Scams and Fake Information

Verification of the ARN through the GST portal helps prevent scams and identify fake ARNs. Relying on a trustworthy source reduces the risk of misinformation and falling victim to deceptive practices.

  1. Establishing Compliance

Maintaining GST compliance is important for businesses. Validating the ARN and staying informed about the application’s progress establishes compliance. This responsible approach to the GST system builds trust and ensures a harmonious relationship with tax authorities.

  1. Access to GST Benefits

The ARN acts as a temporary authorization, allowing claiming input tax credit and participation in the GST ecosystem before receiving your final GSTIN.

The benefits of an approved ARN are temporary and last until the final GSTIN is received. It is necessary to use the ARN correctly and update invoices and documentation with the GSTIN once it is issued.

Common Misconceptions about ARN

Now that we have discussed the advantages of ARN in detail, it is important to know about the false information surrounding it. Since several other unique numbers are allocated in the GST process, some misconceptions about the use of ARN arise. A few of these are:

  1. Does not Guarantee GST Registration

While obtaining an approved ARN signifies a complete application process, it does not assure final registration. Authorities can reject applications based on additional verifications or if essential information is missing.

  1. ARN Applies to Future Applications

Every ARN is unique to the specific application it corresponds to. Subsequent applications will necessitate the issuance of new ARNs distinct from previous ones.

  1. ARN does not Replace GSTIN

The ARN is just a temporary authorisation during the processing of the application. Upon approval, a permanent GSTIN is provided. This replaces the ARN and becomes the official GST identification number.

  1. ARN does not Automatically Activate ITC

An approved ARN allows you to claim ITC. It does not automatically activate this benefit. Additional steps like filing returns may be necessary depending on specific regulations.

  1. ARN Misuse Impacts Future Applications

Misusing the ARN, like providing false information, could potentially raise concerns for future applications and prompt scrutiny from authorities.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that ARN should not be shared publicly. It should be treated like sensitive information, and disclosing it unnecessarily should be avoided. It is also advisable to be aware of fake ARNs and verify the ARN’s authenticity on the official GST portal.


In conclusion, it is safe to comment that ARN is not just another number but a valid identity proof in the GST process. It is symbolic of a transparent functioning in the application process. Along with this, ARN simplifies the process and makes it less intimidating by keeping the applicant informed at every stage.

The ARN also forms a personalised tracking provision that provides information at each stage. This enables the business to function smoothly as the applicant is armed with useful information required for healthy decision-making. Having the required knowledge of ARN in the GST application process is the first step to success in the new tax system.

Also Read: Where Can I Track My ARN Number?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the need to know the ARN?

Knowing the ARN status is important because it helps resolve the following issues:

  • Current status of the application- Whether stuck in the queue, under review or approved.
  • Any reported issues- missing documents, errors, or clarification needed.
  • Expected GSTIN timeline- so one can plan the business operations accordingly.
  • What is the ARN?

An ARN, or application reference number, is a 15-digit code given to each application. It is provided on registration submissions made on the GST portal.

  • How do I get an ARN?

You automatically receive an ARN upon submitting the GST application on the portal. It is also displayed on the acknowledgement receipt. You just have to fill out the application with the correct details. 

  • How do we track using the application reference number GST?

On the GST Portal, you can check the status of the GST ARN online. The status can be checked by entering the application number in ‘Track Application Status’ under ‘Services.’

  • What format does an ARN have in GST?

The first two represent alphabets. The next two digits represent the state code. The next four numbers indicate the application filing month and year. The remaining numbers represent the unique identifying number. The last digit represents the checksum digit.

  • What is the function of ARN?

The ARN number facilitates online GST registration status checks and aids in migrating current taxpayers to the new GST. It is used for tracking the status of the GST registration application until the GST certificate and the Government issue GSTIN.

  • How to retrieve a lost ARN?

ARN can be retrieved using the PAN and registered mobile number on the GST portal. You can head to “Track Application Status” and click “Forgot ARN.” If you remember the registered email address, you can retrieve the ARN using it. If your application exists and is linked to the email address, the system will display the ARN and other details.

  • Can you apply for GSTIN without an ARN?

No, obtaining an ARN is important for initiating the GSTIN application process. Without an ARN, one cannot progress in the GST registration procedure. It is essential to submit an online application first and receive the ARN. You need to remember that ARN is just a promise towards GST registration, not an indicator of its completion.

  • Where to find more information about ARN and GST registration?

The official GST portal is the best place to find authentic information: One can also consult tax professionals for guidance on specific situations. Another valid source is the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) website:

  • How to deal with expired ARN?

The ARN has no expiry date. If the application remains pending for an extended period beyond 60 days, the tax department might request to resubmit the application for a new ARN. However, expired ARNs are considered invalid. They cannot be used for the intended purpose. Application may be put on hold or even rejected if the ARN has expired.

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Rinkle Dudhani Intern
Meet Rinkle Dudhani, a diligent law student on the path to earning a BBA LLB degree in June 2024. Armed with a solid academic background in company law, taxation laws, and finance fundamentals, Rinkle possesses a deep understanding of legal and financial concepts. As a seasoned content writer with over 3 years of experience, she has collaborated with prominent brands and consistently delivered high-quality content with a focus on thorough research.

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