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An Overview of CIN or Corporate Identification Number

A Corporate Identification Number (CIN) refers to a unique number allotted to the company registered by the RoC. The CIN comes along with the registration certificate issued by the RoC. The RoC stands for the Registrar of Companies. RoC reserves exclusive power for legalizing entities under the Companies Act 2013.

The Corporate Identification Number helps governing authorities and other parties establish the company’s identity easily. During a compliance audit, registered companies are obligated to share CIN with the concerned authority i.e. MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs).

What information does Corporate Identification Number enclose?

CIN encloses the 21-digit alphanumeric code that provides the following information about the company

  • Listed or unlisted on the stock exchange
  • Year of incorporation
  • Legal structure (whether the entity falls under the Companies Act 2013 or LLP Act 2008, or Partnership Act 1932, etc)
  • Registration number

Which companies can have a Corporate Identification Number (CIN) in India?

Corporate Identification Number (CIN) is technically a 21-digits code comprising alphabets and numbers. Registrar of Companies (RoC)  grants CIN to the registered entities falling under the ambit of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

CIN is essentially granted to the following types of entities in India:

  • Private Limited Companies
  • One-Person Companies
  • Companies falling under the GOI
  • State Government Companies
  • Section 8 Companies
  • Nidhi Companies, etc.

However, firm like LLPs (Limited Liability Partnerships) does not have access to CIN.  Instead, these firms are provided with the LLPIN (Limited Liability Partnership Identification Number) accorded by the ROC. It is a 7-digit code that helps establish LLP’s identity.

What is the Significance of a Corporate Identification Number?

CIN keeps track of the company’s undertakings and aspects. It is required to be enclosed in all the transactions relating to the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

Being easily interpretable, the 21-digit code of Corporate Identification Number help establish fundamental details concerning the company. It is utilized for discovering companies' details available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

CIN encloses the details that any third party, entity, or investor can use to know about the company and its legal structure. Keep note that it does not have any details that fall outside the MCA’s ambit.

Here is what a typical CIN looks like – U74140TN2011PTC082268

Understanding the code of Corporate Identification Number

The 21-digits CIN renders information about the MCA-registered company, which further can be bifurcated into the following sections. To understand what CIN implies, let’s take the above CIN as an example: U74140TN2011PTC082268.

Section-1: The first character – U

Section-2: The next five digits – 74140

Section-3: The next two letters – TN

Section-4: The next four digits – 2011

Section-5: The next three characters – PTC

Section-6: The last six digits – 082268

Let’s explore each section to discover what they imply:

Section-1

The First letter implies whether an entity is listed or unlisted. Simply put, it showcases the Stock Market listing status of the company. The letter U denotes that the company is yet to be listed on the stock market- meaning it is an unlisted entity.

Section-2

This section entails five numbers that denote the niche or the industry which the company serves. The MCA uses this to classify companies based on the nature of economic activities.

Section-3

This section entails two alphabets that imply the state name in which the company resides. In this example- the letter TN stands for Tamil Nadu.

Section 4

This section comprises the four numbers that show the incorporation year of the company.

Section-5

This section entails three alphabets that help identify the legal structure of the company. These letters help recognize whether an entity is OPC, a private ltd company, or a public limited company. In this example, the PTC stands for Private limited company.

Section-6

The last six numbers in this section serve as a registration number, which is issued by the ROC alongside the registration certificate.

Know the general abbreviations in CIN

Section 5 entails different abbreviations which denote the entity’s legal structure. Here’s what they stand for:

  • FLC: FLC means Financial Lease Company as Public Limited
  • FTC: FTC is referred to as a Subsidiary of a Foreign Company as a Private Limited Company
  • GAP: GAP stands for the General Association Public
  • GAT: GAT is known as General Association Private
  • GOI: GOI is called the Companies owned by the Government of India
  • NPL: Not-for-Profit License Company (Section 8 Company)
  • OPC: One-Person Company
  • PLC: PLC stands for Public Limited Company
  • PTC: PTC is abbreviated for the Private Limited Company
  • SGC: Companies owned by State Government
  • ULL: ULL means Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability
  • ULT: ULT denotes a Private Company with Unlimited Liability

Documents in which the inclusion of a CIN is mandatory

Every registered entity in India is obligated to enclose its CIN on a multitude of Documents as mentioned below:

  • Invoices, bills, and receipts
  • Memos
  • Notice
  • Annual Reports and audits
  • Letterheads
  • Company’s official publications
  • E-form filling with the MCA
  • Any other company publications

How to locate the company’s CIN on the MCA portal?

One can locate the company's CIN by performing the following steps on the MCA official portal.

  • Head to the MCA official portal
  • Navigate to the MCA services located on the home page
  • Explore the option namely “Find CIN” cited in the drop-down list under the option called “Company services”.
  • Explore the option called- ‘Search Based on Existing Company/ LLP Name’.
  • Provide the relevant field with the company name under the option called ‘Existing Company’
  • The company’s CIN shall prompt on your computer screen. 

What if a company fails to mention CIN in vital Documents?

Since such acts are considered a violation under the governing legislation, a Rs 1000 per day of penalty shall be imposed on the defaulting entity as well as the official(s) in question. The maximum fine in such a case can go all the way up to Rs 1 lac.

Is the Corporate Identification Number alterable?

Yes, the information provided in a CIN shall be changed by filing an application with the authority. The changes will be made only for the following grounds:

  • If the company’s listing status has been changed
  • If the company shifted its operation to another place or state
  • If the company changed its niche or industry

What is different between TIN and CIN?

TIN refers to a Taxpayer Identification Number which keeps track of taxation activities and allied records. On the contrary, CIN is a unique code that is assigned to an individual entity and it renders a multitude of information including legal structure, incorporation year, registration number, etc.

Let Corpiz’s experts secure an incorporation certificate and CIN

Entities intending to register under the Companies Act 2013 are often subjected to rigorous compliances and paperwork. The margin of error for arranging paperwork or filing an application is next to negligible.

MCA is quite strict when it comes to the legitimacy of the Document and application. Therefore, we advise you to proceed mindfully and take help from Corpbiz’s professionals who are well-versed in incorporation legalities.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no separate procedure for securing CIN in India. It is being allotted by RoC alongside the certificate of registration. It comprises 12 digits, which are unique and reflects different information about an entity.

No. A CIN is not available to entities registered as LLPs in India. Instead, ROC provides these entities with an LLPIN (LLP Identification Number), which is a 7-digit code. Technically, CIN applies to those entities falling under the Companies Act 2013.

CIN and GSTIN serve different purposes altogether. Whereas CIN is allotted by ROC alongside the company registration certificate, the GSTIN is allotted to a taxpayer falling under the GST regime. GSTIN entails a unique identification code just like the CIN but that’s the only similarity they have.

Yes, according to section 12(3)(c) of the Companies Act 2013, every registered entity is liable to enclose CIN in their business letterheads, billhead, memos, invoices, emails, official publications receipts, and so on.

In such a case, a monetary penalty amounting to Rs 1000/day shall be imposed on the defaulting company and the alleged officer(s) in question.

The maximum fine, in this case, has been capped at Rs 1 lacs.

Entities that fall under the Companies Act 2013 are provided with the CIN along with the registration certification.

In such a case, all you need is to file an application and request the authority to update the CIN accordingly.

The letter U stands for the unlisted company, which means that the company is yet to be listed on the stock exchange.

The ULT stands for Private Company with Unlimited Liability.

The last five numbers in the CIN reflect the company’s registration number.

Yes, it is mandatory as per section 12(3)(c) of the Companies Act 2013.

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