Table of Contents


Multiple files and inspections are no longer necessary due to the streamlined compliance procedures brought by the unified tax system known as GST. Companies can now claim input tax credits at different points in the production chain. This encourages efficiency and openness. Businesses are reevaluating their operations to conform to the new tax framework, resulting in a reorganisation of supply chain dynamics. Even though the GST is meant to be simple, the tiered structure, which includes CGST, SGST, and IGST, can make it complicated. However, understanding the subtleties of various tax rates and exemptions is of utmost importance. One such aspect is the ARN.

Application Reference Number is what the acronym ARN stands for. Upon submission of an application for GST registration, an automated GST ARN number is generated on the portal. This is a unique number assigned to each applicant.

The successive parts of this blog shall deal with the ARN  definition in the GST. It will elaborate upon its use in tracking the status of GST registration applications. If you’re looking forward to enhancing your understanding of the process involved in the taxation system, this extensive read caters to all your GST needs.

Understanding the Basics of ARN

This portion explores the ARN definition in detail, illuminating its importance, features, and effects on taxpayers, as well as the overall efficacy of GST in India.

As stated in the beginning, an Application Reference Number (ARN) is a unique identifier assigned to a specific application or transaction. The term can be used in various contexts. The Application Reference Number in GST is a unique 15-digit alphanumeric code. To understand in simpler terms, it is the first registration number that an applicant receives on the portal, and that helps in tracking the application.

The GST Portal automatically generates the ARN upon the successful submission of a GST registration application. Following the completion of the application process, the system assigns a distinctive ARN to serve as a reference point. This unique identifier becomes crucial for any future inquiries or clarifications about the submitted application. 

Structure Of ARN

The structural composition of the ARN is as follows:

  • The initial 2 digits: The first 2 digits indicate the state code wherein the application is lodged.
  • The ensuing 5 digits: Specify the nature of the application (e.g., 01 for new registration, 02 for amendment).
  • The subsequent 7 digits: Function as a sequential serial number, ensuring each ARN is unique.
  • The ultimate digit: Functions as a check digit, validating the accuracy of the code.

Compulsory Documents required for Application Reference Number

Certain crucial documents collectively establish the legal and financial aspects of the business and are crucial for the application reference number process. These documents are as follows:

  1. Directors or Partners Information

  • List of directors or partners.
  • Their identification and address proof.
  • Mention of the business structure, whether it’s a partnership or incorporation.
  1. Legal Documentation

  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) for incorporated entities.
  • Certificate of Incorporation for incorporated entities.
  • Partnership Deed for businesses operating as partnerships.
  1. Business Organization’s PAN Card

  • A copy of the PAN card of the business organization.
  1. Bank Details

A cancelled cheque providing:

  • Account holder’s name.
  • IFSC code.
  • MICR.
  • Branch details of the bank.
  1. Proof of Business Location

  • Either a rent agreement or an electricity bill.
  • This document should feature and confirm the location of the business.

Role and Functionality of ARN

The GST ARN Status provides information about the current status and progress of your GST registration application. The different stages that the GST ARN reflects on the portal are as follows:

  1. Form Allocated to Approving Officer

Meaning: An Officer has been designated to handle the processing of the GST application.

Course of Action: The application is currently under review by the government and awaits assessment from the assigned officer.

  1. Awaiting Clarification

Meaning: The processing officer has sought additional information or clarification regarding specific details provided in the GST registration application.

Course of Action: As an applicant, it is advised to promptly submit the required clarifications through the GST Portal to facilitate the continuation of the application process.

  1. Clarification Submitted – Awaiting Decision

Meaning: The applicant has addressed the concerns raised by the GST Officer and provided the required clarifications.

Course of Action: At this stage, a decision or order regarding the application is anticipated shortly.

  1. Clarification Not Submitted – Awaiting Decision

Meaning: The applicant has not submitted the requested clarifications within the stipulated timeframe.

Course of Action: In such instances, the GST Officer will likely issue an order rejecting the GST registration application. If a GST registration is still needed, reapplication with the essential modifications will be necessary.

  1. Application Approved

Meaning: The GST registration application has received approval from the GST Officer.

Course of Action: Following approval, you can expect to receive the GSTIN and the GST registration certificate shortly.

  1. Application Rejected

Meaning: The GST registration application has been declined by the GST Officer.

Course of Action: If a GST registration is still required, a new application with the necessary adjustments will be necessary.

Significance of ARN in Processing

Although application tracking is the major function of ARN, its applications are incredibly diverse. Consider it a multi-tool for negotiating the GST world. Some of its important uses are:

  1. In Business transactions

During the registration procedure, the ARN is crucial in enabling efficient commercial transactions. An ARN code is issued upon filing for GST registration, and it is a legitimate form of identification until your GSTIN is obtained. This keeps your business operations running smoothly and guarantees that you will always comply with GST laws.

  1. In determining a dealer’s credibility

On the GST site, the ARN enables you to verify and monitor their status for GST registration. This action can establish confidence and ensure that the suppliers you are working with are registered and compliant with GST laws.

  1. Beneficial for rectification

Quoting the ARN when filing for appeals for rectification in applications ensures that your inquiry is handled right away.

  1. Invoicing

GST on a bill of supply without having the GSTIN, which is a significant usage of the ARN. When the GSTIN is not yet accessible, it’s crucial to remember that the vendor must send a fresh invoice with the GSTIN specified as soon as they receive it.

  1. Brokerage identification in mutual funds

The use of ARN makes it easier to find the precise brokerage connected to a transaction. For investors looking to gain a more precise understanding of the specifics of their assets and related expenses, this might be helpful.

ARN in Relation to Other Identifiers

After emphasising the importance of ARN in data, several key identifiers play a crucial role in uniquely identifying entities, transactions, and processes within the GST procedure. These are essential for effective administration, compliance, and tracking.

  1. GSTIN (Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number)

All GST-registered individuals receive a 15-digit PAN-based number from the authorities. This number serves the purpose of filing returns, claiming input tax credits, generating invoices, and making payments.

Also Read: Navigating the Complexity of GSTIN

  1. ARN

This is the first number that a vendor receives on registration for the GST portal. It is a temporary number but is a valid proof of application. It helps in tracking application status, communicating with GST officials, and filing appeals or rectifications.

  1. HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) Code

This is a 6-digit code for goods. This number helps in identifying goods accurately, determining applicable tax rates, and complying with GST regulations.

Also Read: How Are HSN Codes Used?

  1. IRN (Invoice Reference Number)

Each GST invoice is assigned a unique number that serves to verify its legitimacy and avoid duplication. It is used for tracking invoices, reconciling transactions, and preventing fraud.

  1. E-Way Bill Number

This 12-digit alphanumeric number is necessary for the transportation of products valued at more than Rs. 50,000. It caters to tracking goods in transit, preventing tax evasion, and ensuring compliance.

  1. CIN (Common Portal Identification Number)

This special ID is required to access several GST-related websites and services, including e-way bills, e-invoices, and GST payments. It is utilised to streamline access to GST services and make the user’s experience better.


Even though it may not seem much, the ARN is proof of the ability of technology to make intricate systems like the GST simpler. It is essential to make the GST process easier and less intimidating since it empowers taxpayers, maintains openness, and fosters efficiency. It can be the lighthouse, pointing the way toward a more efficient and productive system as we realise its potential and make use of technological breakthroughs.

To sum up, GST has brought about a revolution in the taxation system by introducing a new phase of economic efficiency in procedures. This extensive tax system has had a lasting impact on consumers, businesses, and the overall economy.

Also Read: Know Everything About GST Billing Software

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to get ARN in GST?

After an application, the GST Portal immediately generates the ARN. As soon as the application is filed, the system assigns a distinct ARN.

  • How long is the ARN?

The ARN is a 15-digit alphanumeric.

  • What is the format of ARN in GST?

The initial two are alphabets. The subsequent two digits denote the state code. The following four digits convey the month and year of the application filing. The rest of the digits represent the unique identification number. The final digit serves as the checksum digit.

  • How to track using the application reference number GST?

On the GST Portal, one 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 is the use of ARN?

The ARN number facilitates online GST registration status checks and aids in the migration of 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.

  • Is the ARN a proof of GST registration?

It functions as evidence that you have initiated the process of applying for GST registration. It is an interim confirmation of your application status. However, the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) serves as the ultimate proof of registration. 

  • Does each application for GST registration have a unique ARN?

Yes, the ARN is a unique number for each registration.

  • What does it mean when the status reflects clarification is pending?

It’s crucial to provide the required clarifications via the GST Portal as soon as the GST officer requests them. Failure to provide clarifications on time may result in the application being rejected by the GST officer.

  • What to do in case one loses the ARN?

The ARN can be retrieved by using the ‘forgot ARN’ option on the GST portal.

  • What is an Invalid Format for ARN?

If you encounter the error message “INVALID FORMAT FOR ARN,” it indicates that there might be an issue with the user profile. To resolve this, please review and update your profile information to ensure that there are no discrepancies with the details provided in the form.

author avatar
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.

Leave a Reply