What Is a Corportate Identification Number (CIN) in India?

Like in most countries around the world, in order to do business in India you need to have a registration number for your company. In this country it is called the Corporate Indentification Number (CIN). In order to get one, you’ll need to address yourself to the Registrar of Companies (ROC) which is controlled by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and operates in all the states which are part of India.

Description of the CIN

All companies that function under the Private Limited Company classification (PLC) need to have a Corporate Identification Number (CIN) before it can start making business deals. This CIN is an alphanumeric code which contains a total of 21 digits. It is a unique number which designates a particular company and it will have to be used in all correspondence with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which can translate into various reports or audits.

The CIN is also used for other companies or individuals to learn more about this legal entity and it serves as a proof that the company exists. Nomad workers looking for employment in this country can find a list of company in their field by looking-up the CIN list as well.

It is the ROC of the state where the company is based that issues the CIN. This registrar also provides other identification document for other types of business (all the ones who are not PLC). They fall under the following classifications:

Companies Owned by State Government (SGC)

Companies Owned by the Government of India (GOI)

Financial Lease Company (FLC)

General Association Private (GAT)

General Association Public (GAP)

Not For Profits License Company (NPL)

One Person Company (OPC)

Private Limited Company (PTC)

Public Limited Company (PLC)

Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability (ULL)

Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability (ULT)

Subsidiary of a Foreign Company (FTC)

What Is Included Inside the CIN ?

When you look at a registration number, there is a lot of information which is easily identifiable. It includes the year of incorporation, the state code, the type of company that it is and also its listing status. Here is an example of what it can look like and the full meaning of each digit:


U = unlisted (listing status) that refers to its status on the stock market. If they aren’t listed, as is the case here, the code starts with a “U”, otherwise it would start with an “L.”

72200 = these numbers serve to classify the economic activity in which it functions. Each number indicates one particular element of information. In order, they are: Section / Division / Group / Class / Subclass.

MH = Identification of the state where the company is registered (MH = Maharashtra)

2009 = year of registration of the company

PLC = type of company (Private Limited Company). These three letters can be, as we indicated above, according to the category it belongs to.

123456 = these numbers are unique as they are the single registration number of a company. They also include the numeral code of the ROC where the company has been registered.

What Does a Company Use the CIN Registration Number for?

First and foremost, all company needs this number before they can enter into any legal deal with other entities. Otherwise, it does not exist and performs its business entirely illegally. This registration number is also used by all government institutions in their dealings with companies, whether it would be for tax purposes, auditing or any other kind of reports. It also needs to be shared on all official correspondence of the company, including memos, bills, letterhead and annual reports.

The Interaction between the ROC and Companies

The ROC (Registrar of Company) in India is responsible for the government’s first dealing with all companies. It registers them through the CIN and keeps the information updated for anyone who needs to have access to it, including the various official offices. Its regulation book is the Companies Act of 1956 and all the amendments that were made to it ever since. Their offices can be found in all states throughout India but for two of them, which are: the North Eastern States and Union Territories.

What is considered to be a company in India is one individual or a group of persons which has gathered under a registration number, in order to generate revenues or for non-profit purposes. That is why the role of the ROC and the CIN are so important. Once the CIN is in place, the company becomes a legal entity and is responsible in front of India’s law.

The ROC does have other responsibilities besides providing a registration number to all companies in the country. If a company needs to change name, for whatever reason, they need to address themselves to this governmental entity in order to do so.

Again, if a private limited company decides that it wants to go public, it is the ROC which will provide all the necessary paperwork to be filled, in order for the transfer to be done. Any other conversions would also be handled by them.

If a company decides to shut its door, it will also be directed towards this institution in order to proceed to it. And if a company goes bankrupt, all and any actions undertaken against them to recuperate some funds will have to go through the ROC.

Carry F.

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