Corporate Identification Number (CIN)

Updated on:  

08 min read

A Corporate Identification Number is a unique identification number that is assigned by the Registrar of Companies (ROC).


Corporate Identification Number sometimes referred to as CIN is a unique identification number that is assigned by the ROC (Registrar of Companies) of various states under the MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs).

Corporate Identity Number is a 21 digits alpha-numeric code issued to companies incorporated within the country on being registered by the ROC situated in different states across India.

Importance of CIN

CIN is used for tracking all the aspects of a company from its incorporation by the ROC (Registrar of Companies) and is required to be provided on all the transactions with the respective Registrar of Companies.

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.

Breaking down CIN

  • The first character of CIN reveals whether a company is “Listed” or “Unlisted” on the Indian stock market. 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 isn’t listed it would start with the letter ‘U’.
  • The next set of 5 numeric digits categorizes the economic 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.
  • The next two letters denote the Indian state where such a company is registered. For instance, MH is for Maharashtra. It works in a similar fashion as your car registration number.
  • The next set of 4 numeric digits signifies the year of incorporation of a company.
  • The following three letters denote the company classification. These 3 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. Another status could be:
    • PTC – Private Limited Company
    • PLC – Public Limited Company
    • SGC – Company of State Government
    • OPC – One person Company
    • NPL – Section 8 Company – Not for profit
  • The remaining 6 numeric digits denote the registration number provided by the respective Registrar of Companies (ROC).

Mentioning of CIN

For every Public and Private Limited, the company which is established in India needs to quote its Company Identification Number on various documents which include:

  • On invoices and receipts
  • On notice
  • On letterheads
  • Annual Reports
  • Every e-form on the MCA portal
  • Any other publications

Penalty for Non-compliance

In case the above-mentioned requirements aren’t adhered to, there’s a penalty of INR 1,000/day on the defaulting company and on its, every officer is in default, till such default continues. However, the maximum penalty for this default is limited to INR 1,00,000.

Changing CIN Number

CIN which is provided to every registered company for the purpose of identification can be changed in certain cases such as:

  • Any change in the listing status of a company
  • Any change in the location or change of state where the company’s registered office is situated
  • Any change in the industry/sector to which a company belongs to
inline CTA
Get an expert at affordable price
For ITR, GST returns, Company Registration, Trademark Registration, GST Registration