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2020-02-10 13:59:15Starting a BusinessEnglishCorporate Identity Number (CIN) is a unique 21 digit alpa-numeric identification number assigned by the ROC functioning in various states... Identity Number (CIN): All You Need to Know

Corporate Identity Number (CIN): All You Need to Know

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Every business entity intending to form a company has to get itself registered with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). The ROC issues a certificate of incorporation that acts as an evidence for the origin of the company.

It is a document that certifies that all the requirements of the Companies Act have been complied with in respect of registration and any matters related to it. Further, it’s a declaration that the association of persons is a company that is authorized to be registered under the act.

Also, such a certificate specifies the corporate identity number (CIN) in addition to the details such as the date, company’s name, limited status, PAN etc of an association of persons registered as a company.

This article talks about the unique corporate identity number (CIN) issued by the ROC to each and every company registered under the Companies Act, 2013.

What is Corporate Identity Number?

As per section 7(3) of the Companies Act, 2013,

‘On and from the date mentioned in the certificate of incorporation issued under sub-section (2), the Registrar shall allot to the company a corporate identity number, which shall be a distinct identity for the company and which shall also be included in the certificate’.

Thus, CIN refers to the Corporate Identity Number (CIN), which is also referred to as the corporate Registration Number (CRN). It is a unique 21 digit alpa – numeric identification number assigned by the ROC functioning in various states under Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

Once a company is formed, the concerned ROC issues a Certificate of Incorporation that contains a unique Corporate Identity Number along with its approved name.

Such a number is mandatory for all types of companies registered in India. This means that no company can function without a CIN.

Furthermore, the CIN is issued to the registered company or its registered office only. This means that such a number is not assigned to any of its branches, manufacturing units or godowns.

In other words, a single CIN is issued to a company and its branches or manufacturing units shall use the same number for any of its dealing or communication.

Structure of CIN

Let’s understand the structure of CIN with the help of an example:

Corporate Identity Number Example

100 Web Media Pvt Ltd is a web media company situated in Delhi. Its unique CIN is U74140DL2014PTC272628.

As we can see, the CIN is a unique 21 digit alpha – nyumeric number. Following are the components that for the very structure of this CIN:

  • First Character

The first character of the CIN showcases the listing status of a company on the Indian stock market. In other words, it reveals whether the registered company is listed or unlisted on the Indian Stock Exchange.

In case the company is listed, the first character of the CIN would start with the alphabet ‘L’. Whereas, if the company is not listed on the Indian Stock Exchange, the first digit of the CIN would be ‘U’.

In our above example, the CIN starts with ‘U’, which states that 100 Web Media Pvt Ltd is an unlisted company.

  • Next Five Characters

The next five characters of the CIN are numeric digits and reflect the industry to which the company belongs. It is a four digit code that implies the nature of the economic activities carried out by an establishment.

The MCA has assigned such codes to each and every industry carrying out its economic activities in India.

In our above example, the next five characters of the CIN are ‘74140’. This indicates that the company is classified into ‘Other Business Activities’ as it offers business management and consultancy services.

Industry Code List in PDF

  • Next Two Characters

The next two characters of the CIN are the letters referring to the Indian state where such a company is registered. In our above example, the next two characters of the CIN indicate the letter ‘DL’ referring to the state ‘New Delhi’.

  • Next Four Characters

The next four characters in the CIN are numeric digits that indicate the year of incorporation of the company. The CIN in the above example indicates the digits ‘2014’. This illustrates that 100 Web Media Pvt Ltd was incorporated in the year 2014.

  • Next Three Characters

The subsequent three characters of CIN are letters that indicate the classification or type of company. Depending upon the type of company, following are the letters that would be used in the CIN:

  • FLC:- Financial Lease Company as Public Limited
  • FTC:- Subsidiary of a Foreign Company as a Pvt Ltd Company
  • GAP:- General association Public
  • GAT:- General Association Private
  • GOI:- Companies owned by the Government of India
  • NPL:- Not for Profits License Companies
  • PLC:- Public Limited Company
  • PTC:- Private Limited Company
  • SGC:- Companies Owned by State Government
  • ULL:- Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability
  • ULT:- Private Limited Company with Unlimited Liability

In our above example, the next three characters of CIN indicate ‘PTC’, which means that 100 Web Media is a Pvt Ltd Company.

  • Next Six Numeric Digits

The last six characters of the CIN are numeric digits that indicate the unique registration number assigned by the concerned ROC. In our example, the next six digits indicate ‘272628’, which is a unique number given to 100 Web Media.

How To Find Corporate Identity Number?

CIN can be found from the MCA 21 portal through search based on:

  • ROC registration number
  • Existing company name
  • Old company name (in case there is a change in name the user is required to enter the old name. Upon doing so, the system will display the corresponding current name of the company.)
  • Inactive CIN (In case there is a change in the CIN, the user is required to enter the previous inactive CIN)

Procedure to Find CIN

  • Go to MCA website
  • Click MCA services tab on the home page. From the drop down, click ‘Find CIN’ under company services. The following page will be displayed.
  • Choose one of the options mentioned above and fill the details to find CIN.

Mentioning of CIN

‘As per section 12(3) (c) of the companies act, get its name, address of its registered office and the Corporate Identity Number along with telephone number, fax number, if any, email and website addresses, if any, printed in all its business letters, billheads, letter papers and in all its notices and other official publications’.

Thus, to comply with the above rule, a company is required to mention its CIN on certain documents. These include:

  • Bill heads
  • Letter papers
  • Notices
  • Official publications like periodical, journal, public tenders, publication of financial results, notice for employment through a newspaper, advertisement in respect of company’s products etc.
  • Letterhead of the company
  • Emails to outside parties
  • E-Forms on MCA portal. Once this number is filled and the user selects the prefill option, the details of the company get auto – populated in the e – forms on MCA portal.

Penalty for Non – Compliance

If a company fails to comply with the above mentioned requirements, a fine of Rs. 1,000 per day is levied on the company and every officer who is in default till the time the default continues. However, the maximum amount of penalty for such non – compliance of Rs. 1,00,000.


Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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