A Corporate Identification Number (CIN) is a unique identification number that is assigned by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to the companies registered in India. It’s a unique code and allotted by the registrar to every company at the time of registration. It creates a unique identification of a company and is required to be quoted while making any reference to the company.
CIN is a very important number as its helps in distinguishing a company from other companies. It serves the same purpose as Aadhaar number in case of individuals i.e. identification of a particular person.
Every company mentions this unique CIN in the forms and returns to be submitted with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) , particularly in audits and reports. It’s also required to be clearly mentioned on the letter heads, boards, registered office and other place of business of the Company.
CIN has a set format which can easily be decoded. It consists of important details and the following components:
- Listing Status
- Industry Code
- State Code
- Year of incorporation
- Type of Company
- Registration number
It is provided to all companies registered in India, which include:
- Private Limited Companies (PLCs)
- One Person Companies (OPCs)
- Companies owned by the Government of India
- State Government Companies
- Section 8 Company
- Nidhi Companies and others
However, CIN is not given to the Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) registered in India. For the LLPs, the ROC gives the LLPIN (Limited Liability Partnership Identification Number) that acts as a unique 7-digit identification number of the LLP.
Requirement of CIN
CIN is used for tracking all the aspects and activities of a company from its incorporation by the ROC and is required to be provided on all the transactions with the respective ROC.
The 21 digit CIN has its own meaning which is easily translatable and which helps in finding basic information relating to a company. It is used for finding the primary details of the companies which are registered within the country under MCA.
CIN is a unique number that can be used for identifying or tracking companies for several levels of information that ROC / MCA holds. The CIN contains the identity of an organization and additional information regarding the registered company under the ROC.
Structure of Corporate Identification Number (CIN)
The 21-digits CIN represents and provides information about the company. The CIN can be broken down into six parts. For example: CIN of a company is U12345DL2022PTC034567. It shall be interpreted as follows:
- Part 1: CIN starts with the listing status of a company. First character reveals whether a company is listed on the Indian stock market or an unlisted entity. In other words, the first character implies the Stock Market listing status. In case a company is listed, the CIN would start with the letter ‘L’ and in case a company is not listed it would start with the letter ‘U’.
- Part 2: Consists of the next set of five numeric digits that categorizes the business activity of a company or to which industry the company belongs to. This classification is based on the nature of the economic activities which would be carried out by such an establishment. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has allotted a number to every category or industry. CLICK HERE to get the list of main divisions of industrial activities.
- Part 3: Consists of the next two letters that denote the Indian state where the company is registered. For instance, KA is for Karnataka, MH is for Maharashtra, DL is for Delhi, etc. It works in a similar fashion as the car registration number.
- Part 4: Consists of the next set of four numeric digits that signifies the year of incorporation of a company.
- Part 5: Consists of the following three letters that denote the company classification. These three letters help to identify whether a company is a private limited company or a public limited company. If the CIN number here is FTC, it would mean that such a company is a subsidiary of any foreign company or if it’s GOI, it would imply that such company is owned by the Indian Government.
List of Abbreviation used in CIN with respect to the type of company:
- 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 License 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
- Part 6: Consists of the remaining six numeric digits that denote the registration number provided by the respective Registrar of Companies (ROC).
Change in Corporate Identification Number
CIN which is provided to every registered company for the purpose of identification can be changed in certain cases such as change in the listing status of a company, change in the industrial activity/business category of a company, change in the location of registered office of a company from one state to another and conversion of a company such as conversion from a private company to a public company etc. These changes affect Part 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the CIN, respectively. All other parts of the CIN can never be changed.