Must Knows

What is the CIN number, and where is it used?

[] A Corporate Identification Number or a CIN is allotted to all companies in India by the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Read on to know the importance of CIN and how to obtain it if you are planning to start a business.

A number of things like a CIN number, a Tin number, and GST licensing are needed if you are planning to start a business. The CIN is an important identification number for a company. So, if you are on the brink of launching your own business, it is necessary to know the process of registering for a CIN number to assist in seamless transactions. To get started, let’s get an in-depth understanding of what a CIN number really is.

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What does CIN stand for?

A Corporate Identification Number, or a CIN, is a unique identifier provided to every company in India by the Registrar of Companies (ROC). CIN is provided to the firms at the same time as the Registration Certificate is being issued.

The CIN is a significant number because every business is required to provide this one-of-a-kind identifier on the paperwork that they send to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), most notably in audits, assessments and reports.

The Corporate Identification Number consists of 21 alphanumeric characters assigned to businesses that are registered with the Registrar of Companies (ROC), which may be found at a variety of locations throughout India and operates under the authority of the MCA.

The following types of businesses are eligible to get a CIN:

  • Companies owned by the Government of India
  • State Government Companies 
  • Private Limited Companies (PLCs) 
  • One Person Companies (OPCs) 
  • Not-for-Profit Section 8 Company
  • Nidhi Companies 

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) registered in India do not get a CIN. The LLPIN or Limited Liability Partnership Identifying Number is issued by the ROC to each limited liability partnership, and it serves as the LLP’s one-of-a-kind identification number. The LLPIN consists of seven digits.

How is a Corporation Identification Number (CIN) Formatted?


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There are 21 digits in a CIN number. The following is the format for a company’s CIN:

Listing Status

To determine if a firm has been ‘listed’ or ‘unlisted’ on the stock exchange, the first letter of the CIN is used. A company’s CIN begins with the letter ‘L’ if it has been publicly listed, and letter ‘U’ if it has not been publicly listed.

Industry Code

The ROC industry code is represented by the subsequent five digits of the number. All activities have a unique five-digit code to designate the kind of business.

State Code

Consists of the following two letters, which indicate the state in India where the company’s registration was first filed. For example, MH stands for the state of Maharashtra, DL stands for the city of Delhi, KA stands for the state of Karnataka, etc. It functions similar to that of a car’s registration number.

Incorporation year

The following set of four alphanumeric digits represents the year in which a firm was incorporated.

Ownership Type

After the year of establishment, the next three characters indicate the ownership type of the firm. PLC stands for a Public Limited Company, whereas PTC stands for a Private Limited Company.

Registration Number

The last six characters of the CIN represent the registration number issued by the ROC. 

Where Can You Use CIN?

The following is a list of paperwork that needs to include the Corporate Identification Number:

  • Receipts
  • Invoices
  • Letterheads
  • Notification
  • Annual Statements
  • All e-forms on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs site
  • Bill heads
  • Business letters
  • Emails are sent to parties outside of the organisation
  • Journals, booklets, magazines, financial results, etc.

Significance of Corporate Identification Number

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CIN numbers are used to keep tabs on several parts of a firm and must be submitted to complete any transaction with the relevant ROC. The fundamental information about the corporation may be found by looking up its Corporate Identification Number.

To put it another way, each individual character of the alphanumeric code may be readily interpreted as a significant piece of information pertaining to the business.

The data of the business registered under the MCA may be found by using the firm’s Corporate Identification Number. The information that ROC/MCA possesses on the firm associated with this number may be used to identify and track a variety of different facts.

What is the process for obtaining a CIN?

During the process of registering a company, the Registrar of Companies will assign the business an alphabetic and numeric identifier known as a CIN. The CIN of the firm is specified on the document that serves as its certificate of registration. Therefore, a CIN number will be immediately assigned to the firm after the Registrar of Companies has given its approval to establish the business.

How to locate the CIN of a company?

If you go to the MCA website and complete the steps that are outlined below, you will be able to locate a company’s CIN.

  1. Visit the website of the MCA.
  2. On the homepage, the tab labelled ‘MCA Services’ should be clicked.
  3. To find your CIN, use the ‘Find CIN’ entry from the drop-down menu that’s located beneath the option provided by Company Services.
  4. Choose the option that allows you to search based on an existing company or LLP name.
  5. In the box labelled ‘Existing Company,’ type the name of the business, then make sure you have entered the correct captcha code before clicking the ‘Search’ button.
  6. The CIN of the firm will be shown here.

Change of Corporate Identification Number

The CIN, assigned to each registered firm to serve as a means of identification, is subject to modification in specific circumstances, including the following examples:

  • The reclassification of a business
  • Whenever the registered office of a corporation moves or changes states
  • A shift in the industry/sector in which a business operates

Penalties for failure to mention a CIN

The fine for non-compliance with the above-mentioned regulations is INR 1000/day for businesses. The maximum fine is INR 1,00,000.

Abbreviations in CIN number

These are the abbreviations that appear in the CIN’s Section 5:

FLC Financial Lease Company as Public Limited
FTC Subsidiary of a Foreign Company as Private Limited Company
GAP General Association Public
GAT General Association Private
GOI Companies owned by the Government of India
NPL Not-for-Profit Licence Company (Section 8 Company)
OPC One Person Company
PLC Public Limited Company
PTC Private Limited Company
SGC Companies owned by State Government
ULL Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability
ULT Private Company with Unlimited Liability


Is the CIN required to be included in the bills, invoices, and receipts of the business?

According to the Companies Act, section 12(3)(c), a company is required to publish its name, the location of its corporate headquarters, and the CIN in all its official documents, including business letters, letterheads, notices, and any other published reports. As a consequence, a corporation is required to include its CIN on any invoices, statements, vouchers, or e-mails that it sends to third parties.

Does LLP have a CIN?

The Registrar of Companies will provide a company that has been officially registered with a CIN number, while a limited liability partnership will be given an LLPIN number. CIN is only provided to corporations that are established under the Companies Act of 2013, and not to limited liability partnerships (LLPs).

Are the CIN and GST comparable?

The Registrar of Companies assigns a CIN to each registered company when the certificate of incorporation is issued. GSTIN is a unique number assigned to enterprises and organisations that have complied with the requirements of the GST legislation. Hence, they’re not the same and serve diverse functions.

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Category: Must Knows

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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