What is CIN Number: Importance, Usage, Sections, Abbreviations

What is CIN Number: Importance, Usage, Sections, Abbreviations

Starting a business is a lot more than just materialising your idea. Undeniably, an idea is the foundation base, but you cannot excel in your offered product or service just through the concept and plans. One such vital aspect that you can’t escape is business registration. Consider it as the first step on the business ladder. Such registration includes GST registration, CIN Number, TIN, and more. 

Business terminologies might sound like a bunch of confusing at first, but it exists to bring transparency with a set of rules and regulations. As a business owner, you must adhere to them. One salient business rule is, registering your business as an organisation and acquiring a Corporate Identity Number. 

The prep work is also extensive because business is a high-reward undertaking. To make it easier, we have prepared a well-curated guide to the CIN number of companies. Keep reading till the end to discover everything about the CIN number, its importance, CIN and GST, abbreviations, and much more.

Let's start by thoroughly comprehending ‘what is CIN number.’

What is a CIN Number?

CIN stands for Corporate Identification Number, a unique alphanumeric code of 21 digits. This unique code is supplied to One Person Companies,  Private Ltd. Companies, Producer Companies, Section 8 Companies, State Government Companies, and Nidhi Companies. The CIN number is issued to all Indian registered companies, except Limited Liability Partnership firms. 

The state-specific Registrar of Companies (ROC) issued the CIN number for tracking company aspects. The Registrar of Companies works under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to make business seamless. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs dedicates at least one ROC for every state and Union Territory, except states in the Northern-Eastern region.

If you are on the verge of going ahead with your business, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with CIN number registration. It is the key to carrying out seamless business transactions. 

To get a unique CIN code for your organisation and an approved name, you must contact the concerned Registrar of Companies. The allocated CIN no. reveals the authenticity and basic information about the company.

How to Check CIN Number?

With the infusion of technology in government sectors accessing information has become easy. Continuing with this ritual, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs allows business owners to check the CIN number and associate details from the official MCA portal. 

You must visit their official website, select the ‘MCA Services’ from the homepage, then ‘Company Services’ and ‘Find CIN’. 

You will reach the find CIN section in a few clicks. You get four alternatives to put forward in the CIN number search. These methods seek different inputs. 

  1. CIN Number Search based on Registration Number: The first option is to check the CIN number of the company through the registration number. Select the dedicated RoC (RoC Ahmedabad, RoC Chennai, RoC Delhi, RoC Goa, etc.) and enter the registration number in the adjacent text area. Enter the given captcha and click on ‘Search’.
  2. CIN Number Search based on Existing Company Name or LLP Name: Secondly, you can check for the CIN no. through the existing company or LLP name. To make it easy, you get four options, i.e., Ends With, Is, Starts With, Contains Anywhere. Select the appropriate one, and in the adjacent section, enter the company name. Enter the captcha and select ‘Search’.
  3. CIN Number Search based on Inactive CIN: The third option is to check the CIN of the company by entering the inactive CIN no. For instance, if you have updated your CIN number recently, you can enter the old one, which is inactive now. This way, you will get the new CIN number of the company and the other information.
  4. CIN Number Search based on Old Company or LLP Name: Lastly, you can check for the CIN no. through the old company or LLP name. To make it easy, you get four options, i.e., Ends With, Is, Starts With, Contains Anywhere. Select the appropriate one, and enter the old company name in the adjacent section. Now, enter the captcha and select search. 

You can choose the option which is easier for you. For example, move to the first option if you have your company registration number. All you have to do is, enter the required information, and click on search. You will be redirected to another page to get the CIN and everything you were looking for. 

Breaking Down Corporate Identification Number

The unique 21-digit alphanumeric code, i.e. Corporate Identification Number (CIN), provides all-inclusive company information. The CIN number is further classified into six sections. Each section is named Section 1, and Section 2 is followed by Section 6. 

Let us consider an example of how the CIN number is broken into six sections.

Here is a CIN issued by the ROC: L01631KA2010PTC096843

Section  Information 
Section 1: First Character of the CIN Number: L Section 1 contains the first character of the unique code. It can be either ‘L’ or ‘U’ based on the Indian Stock Market Listing of the organisation. If the company is listed on the Indian Stock Market, the first letter will be ‘L’ or ‘U’. In this specific example, the initial letter of the CIN number is ‘L’, representing listing in the Stock Market. 
Section 2: The Next Five Digits of the Code:  01631 The next five characters of the code classify the economic activity or the organisation. In simple words, it denotes the industry to which the organisation belongs. This classification is derived from the nature of the carried-out economic activities. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has a specified code list for every industry. 
Section 3:  The Next Two Characters: KA The two characters followed by the category represents the state in which the company has been registered. In this example. The two characters are KA, which stands for Indian state KA. For instance, if your organisation was registered in Maharashtra, it will be MH; for Delhi, it will be DL etc. Somehow, it is similar to a vehicle registration number that is state-specific. 
Section 4: The Next Four Characters: 2010 This section contains four characters, signifying the incorporation year of the company. Specific to this example, it is 2010. The organisation associated with the given CIN number was incorporated in 2010. 
Section 5:  The Next Three Characters: PTC This section is specific to company classification. Consisting of three characters, this section identifies whether an organisation is a Private Ltd. Company or a Public Ltd. Company. If these characters are listed as FTC, it will denote the organisation as a subsidiary of a foreign organisation. If it is specified as GOI, it is a government-owned organisation. 
Section 6:  The Last Six Digits of the CIN:  096843 The remaining six digits of the CIN number belong to section six. This is the unique number provided to the organisation by the ROC. 

Importance of Corporate Identification Number (CIN)

CIN number gives a unique identity to the company.

Additionally, it justifies the authenticity of the firm. The presence of the CIN number makes the management of industries accessible to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). The ROC considers CIN to track business activities and aspects from their end. 

Through CIN, acquiring generic information about the company becomes easy. In addition to finding primitive information, you can know whether the organisation is listed under Stock Market Listings. Tracking information associated with an organisation on different levels becomes easy for ROC and MCA.  

Abbreviations in CIN Number

The fifth section of the CIN number lists the company classification. It determines the category of the company, whether it's a private one or a government-owned company. 

ROC and MCA have specified abbreviations for every classification. To decode the CIN number of any organisation, you must be familiar with these abbreviations. It will help you to get more primitive information about the company. 

Following abbreviations are used in section five of the CIN number:

Abbreviation  Holds For
ULT  Private Ltd. Company with Unlimited Liability 
ULL  Public Ltd. Company with Unlimited Liability 
SGC  State Government Owned Companies 
PTC Private Ltd. Company 
PLC  Public Ltd. Company
OPC  One Person Company
NPL  Not for Profit Licence Company or Section 8 Company 
GOI Central Government Owned Companies. 
GAT  General Association Private 
GAP  General Association Public 
FTC  Private Ltd. Company that is Subsidiary of a Foreign Company 
FLC   Public Ltd. Financial Lease Company 

Usage of Corporate Incorporation Number (CIN)

The use of CIN is not limited to providing a unique identity to a company or determining its authenticity. CIN number is required for other business-associated activities, such as filing GST. However, you might need to mention your unique CIN number on several documents, including:  

  • On Invoices, e-Bills, Receipts
  • On Notice, Memos, and Letterheads
  • Business Letters and Bill Heads
  • For Annual Reports and Audits
  • Submission of e-form on the official MCA website
  • While collaborating with other organisations through Email
  • Official publications of the organisation like books, financial results
  • Other company publications like journals and periodicals

Penalty for Non-compliance of Mentioning CIN

By now, you know how crucial the CIN number is. You must mention it on uncertain business documents to access seamless business transactions. If you skip mentioning the CIN number on vital documents like business letters, billheads, etc.,  you will have to pay a penalty of Rupees 1000 per day. This penalty applies to all business documents listed under section 12(3) of the Companies Act 2013. However, the penalty amount can not exceed INR 1,00,000 as per Section 12 (8) of the Companies Act. 

When to Change Corporate Identification Number?

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Registrar of Companies has given business owners the power to change their CIN numbers. However, the owners can’t change the number when needed as per their preference. It is limited to specific case scenarios.

You should belong to any of the following categories to change the existing CIN number:

  • When the company's status changes from Listed to Unlisted or vice versa.
  • When you relocate the company from one state to another, it will be reallocated to another state-specific ROR.
  • While switching the sector or industry of economic activities of the company. 

The CIN number is crucial, and organisations must register with MCA through ROC. After going through the above-discussed pointers, it is clear how vital the CIN number is for the smooth running of a business organisation. Additionally, if you decide to change your organisational activities, you know how you will change your CIN number. To check your CIN number, access the MCA online portal. All required information is available through the official portal. Now, focus on your business plans and growth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to apply for CIN?

You don’t have to apply for the CIN number. When you register your company with the Registrar of Companies, you are allocated your unique 21-digit alphanumeric code, i.e. CIN number.

Is CIN allotted to LLP?

No, the CIN number is allotted only to the companies registered under the Companies Act. LLPs or Limited Liability Partnership firms are supplied with an LLP Identification Number (LLPIN) by the state ROR. 

How Do I Change My CIN?

You can change your CIN only in specific case scenarios. First, when you relocate your company. Second, when you change the industry of your business. Third, when the company status changes from listed to unlisted or vice-versa.

How can I learn about a company's stock market listing status using its CIN?

The first section of the CIN code, i.e., the initial letter, denotes the company listing. If the CIN number starts with ‘L’, it is listed under the Indian Stock Market.

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