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| May 24, 2023

What Is CIN Number? Know Its Full Form, Meaning, Usage & Decoding

Coming up with a unique idea that can be turned into a fully functional business may seem very exciting. However, this is a daunting task that involves thousands of legal formalities, among other things. The very first step of this lengthy process is to choose an official name for the business and get the company registered under the same name. By doing so, you are actually creating a legal entity that is recognised by the Government of India and can operate in that particular field. At the time of registration, every business gets its own CIN number. In India, there are zillions of registered businesses, and this CIN number works as the unique mode of identification for a particular business.

What is a CIN number?

The full form of CIN is Corporate Identification Number. It is a 21-digit alphanumeric code that is assigned to a business at the time of registration. It is unique to that particular business, which means one CIN number cannot be associated with two or more different companies.

In order to obtain a CIN no., the company should be registered under one of the below-mentioned categories:

  • Private Limited Company (PLC)
  • One-Person Company (OPC)
  • Companies owned by the Central or State Government
  • Not-for-profit Section 8 Company

In India, a company registered under the category of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) cannot obtain a CIN number. For those companies, an LLPIN number is assigned. The LLPIN, or Limited Liability Partnership Identification Number, is a 7-digit identification code that is unique for every business and works the same way as a CIN.

Different Sections of CIN

The 21 digits of the CIN contain information about the company. It has six different sections, with each having a certain meaning. Here are the details represented in these sections:

Section 1: This section consists of the first character of the CIN, which can be either ‘L’ or ‘U’. This letter indicates the listing status of the company (listed or unlisted) on the Indian stock market.

Section 2: This section consists of the next five digits. These digits indicate the economic activity of the company or the industry it belongs to. This classification is done on the basis of the nature of the economic activities carried out by the organisation. Each category or industry has a unique code that has been allotted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

Section 3: The next section consists of two letters. These two letters are the area code of the Indian state where the company was registered. For example, KA is used for Karnataka, DL for Delhi, HR for Haryana, and AP for Andhra Pradesh.

Section 4: This section contains four numeric digits, signifying the incorporation of the company.

Section 5: This section consists of the next three letters that indicate whether the organisation is a private or public limited company. If a company has a CIN that includes the term ‘FTC, it indicates that the organisation is a subsidiary of a foreign company. Or, if the CIN has ‘GOI’, it means that the company is owned by the Government of India. Here are a few other common abbreviations used in this section:

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

Section 6: This section consists of the last six numeric digits. This is the registration number issued by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) for that particular business.

Importance of CIN for a business

A CIN is issued by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to track all the activities and other aspects of a company. For each transaction with the Registrar of Companies, a company needs to provide the CIN.

As per the rules, every company that has been incorporated in India must have a valid CIN. This unique identification number has to be mentioned on certain documents issued by the company, such as:

  • Invoices, bills, and receipts
  • Official notices
  • Memos
  • Company Letterhead
  • Annual reports and audits
  • E-forms submitted on the MCA portal
  • Company’s official publications

If a company fails to do so, there is a penalty of INR 1000 per day till such default continues. However, the maximum limit for this penalty is INR 1,00,000.

Can a company change its CIN?

The CIN number of a company can be changed only in certain cases:

  • If there is any change in the listing status of a company
  • If there is a change in the location or where the registered office is located
  • If there is a change in the industry/sector to which the company belongs

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