written by Khatabook | July 13, 2021


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Table of content

CIN Number– Guide (What is CIN Number, How To Get It, Meaning, Usage)

The CIN number is an important code that is necessary for every company located in the country. This article will help you understand the necessity of the CIN number for your company and how it plays an important role in all the documents related to the organisation. Keep reading to know more.

What is CIN Number?

CIN number means a 21-digit code in an alpha-numeric format. It is provided to every company registered by the Registrar of Companies (RoC), including private company, public company, one-person company, limited liability partnership, non-profit or not for profit organisations, governmental organisations, non-governmental companies, and other types of organisations. 

What Is The CIN Number Full Form?

CIN no. means Corporate Identification Number. It contains the important and necessary registration details regarding the company. It includes the year in which the company was established, its location, ownership status, and other key aspects. 

What Is The Use Of A CIN No.?

The Corporate Identification Number is mostly used to keep track of all the activities and aspects of a firm after the Registrar of Companies or RoC registers it. It is used right from the date of incorporation of the company. This code is different for each company. It is used mainly during audits and while presenting reports. It is also used when any form is being submitted to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs or MCA.

It can also be used by the Registrar of Companies or the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to track and identify the companies when they need information regarding the firms. 

How To Get CIN Number for Your Company?

CIN number is mandatory for any company registered in India. Each company is given a unique code by the Registrar of Companies or RoC functioning in the different states under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Therefore, a company cannot function without a CIN. In addition, each company gets a unique CIN no. To know how to get CIN number for your company, read through the methods listed that need to be followed.

Follow these steps to get the CIN registration number for your company:

  1. First, procure a DSC or Digital Signature Certificate.
  2. Then, obtain the Director Identification Number or DIN.
  3. Get your company's name approved by filing the documents of incorporation. It includes the Articles of Association of the Company and the Memorandum of Association.
  4. After your company gets incorporated, you will be given the Certificate of Incorporation.
  5. This certificate will include the CIN no. for your company that the RoC provides.

Also Read: Small Scale Business Ideas with Low Investment

What Does The CIN Number Represent?

The 21 digits long unique CIN code for a company follows a specified format. You can easily decode and interpret your company's CIN by knowing the alphabet's detailed arrangement and numbers and what each character inside the code indicates. Each CIN no. is divided into 6 parts that represent important details relating to the company like:

  • The Listing status
  • The Industry code
  • The State code
  • The year of incorporation
  • The Ownership
  • The registration number 

To understand the CIN number format better, let us take a look at a CIN number example:


The above CIN number contains 21 digits as per the specified format. Therefore, it is a mixture of letters and numerals.

  • The first letter: The first digit represents the listing status of the firm. If it is 'L', it denotes that the registered company is listed on the Indian Stock Exchange. If it shows 'U', the firm is unlisted or not listed under the stock exchange.
  • The next five numbers: The second part of the CIN number is the 5-digit numerical code representing the industry code. It shows the industry to which the company belongs. In the above example, 21091 is the industry code for the manufacture of paper hoops and cones. Similarly, every type of industry has its own code, like 21098 for the manufacture of carbon paper and stationery items, 22130 for publishing of recorded media, 24123 for the manufacture of urea and other organic fertilizers, etc.
  • The seventh and eighth characters: The two alphabets next to the industry code represent the code of the state in which the company has been incorporated. In the example, KA represents the state of Karnataka. Likewise, MH will denote Maharashtra, TN indicates Tamil Nadu, KL represents Kerala, etc.
  • The next four numbers: Following the state code is the 4-digit number that indicates the year of incorporation of the firm. The code mentions all four numbers of a year. Considering the above example, the numbers from the 9th position to 12th position represent a year, which in this case is 2019. This means that this particular company was established in the year 2019. In the same way, a company that was incorporated in the year 2021 will have the numbers 2021 in the positions as explained above.
  • The next three-letter ownership status: The three alphabets that follow the year of incorporation in a CIN no. are mentioned to denote the ownership status of the organisation. In addition, it shows the classification or the type of the company. In our example, the letters OPC indicate that the firm is a one-person company. Some of the other codes used to represent the ownership status are as follows:
  • Private Limited Company – PTC
  • Companies owned by the Government of India – GOI
  • Public Limited Company – PLC
  • Companies owned by State Government – SGC
  • General Association Public – GAP
  • Financial Lease Company (as Public Limited) – FLC
  • General Association Private – GAT
  • Public Limited Company (unlimited liability) – ULL
  • Not For Profit License Company – NPL
  • A subsidiary of a Foreign Company – FTC
  • Private Limited Company ((unlimited liability) – ULT
  • The last six numbers: The six numbers present at the end of the CIN represent the company's registration number. This number would be provided to the firm by the Registrar of Companies. This number is unique to each company. Thus, it forms the distinct CIN for that particular company.

How To Carry Out A CIN Number Check For Your Company?

You can search the CIN for your firm online at the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs by clicking on this link: https://www.mca.gov.in/mcafoportal/findCIN.do

There are different ways through which you can search the CIN number of your company. You can search under the "Find CIN" option that is present on the website. The different methods that you can follow to find your firm's CIN are explained below.

  1. The first option is to search the CIN based on your company's or LLP’s registration number. Select your RoC (Example: RoC-Bangalore, RoC-Himachal Pradesh, RoC-Delhi, etc.) and type in your registration number to search your CIN. You will be asked to choose the state or city of your RoC from the drop-down menu.
  2. The second option provided is to search for CIN based on the name of your existing company or LLP. You can type in the full name of your firm or the starting, middle, or ending parts of it to obtain your company's CIN no.
  3. The next option available to find your company's CIN is based on entering the inactive CIN. For example, if there is a change in the CIN number of your firm, you can type in the old CIN, which would now be in an inactive state. This will also provide the current CIN of your company.
  4. The final option through which you can find the CIN number of your company is by searching based on the old name of your company or LLP. In situations where there was a change in the name of a firm, you can enter the company's previous name to obtain the CIN. Again, you can search by providing the full name or parts of it.

Based on the details available to you, you can select any one of the options mentioned above to check for your company's CIN. 

After filling out the required details, you will be asked to type in a captcha. Once the captcha is verified, click on the search button to find your firm's Corporate Identification Number. 

This is an easy way of finding it out, as you can access the web portal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs online from anywhere and anytime.

Also Read: How Can Bharat QR Code Help Your Business Grow Faster?

What Is The Need For A CIN Number?

The usage of the CIN is required in several places. After obtaining the CIN for your company, you must use it in your company's activities on different platforms. In addition, you should use the CIN no of your company in various important documents. These include:

  • Receipts produced by the company
  • Letterhead of the company
  • Invoice
  • Notice
  • Annual reports of the company
  • Business letters
  • Bill heads
  • E-mails to other organisations 
  • All e-forms on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal
  • Journals, periodicals, books, financial results, and any such publications by the company

What Will Happen If The CIN No. is Not Used?

You will be liable to a penalty if you do not use your company's CIN on letterheads, publications, invoices, notices, etc. This is mentioned in Section 12(3) of the Companies Act, 2013. A fine of Rs. 1000 would be applicable for each day the CIN is not used. However, the fine will not exceed the amount of Rs. 1,00,000 as mentioned in Section 12(8) of the Companies Act.

When Should You Change The CIN Number of Your Company?

If any changes alter the status of your company, it will also lead to a requirement to change its existing CIN. The following circumstances explain when there is a need to change the CIN no of your firm:

  • When the company changes the industry in which it was operating. This refers to the situation when the sector of the company is changed. For example, if a company that manufactures products is changed into a publishing firm, you must also change its CIN.
  • The company shifts to a location outside the state where it was incorporated or registered.
  • When there is a change in the RoC or Registrar of Companies.
  • When the listing of the firm on the stock market exchange changes. This refers to when the company moves from being listed to unlisted or vice versa.
  • Changes in the ownership status of the company. For example, when a One Person Company is altered into a Public Limited Company (PLC) or when a Financial Lease Company ( as Public Limited) is changed into a Public Limited Company (unlimited liability) – ULL, etc.

If and whenever your organisation faces such changes, you will have to get the CIN changed into a new number.


The CIN no is an essential number that is required for any company. Therefore, understanding its meaning, needs, usage, etc., can help you incorporate your company. Also, it will help you whenever required if you know the changes, penalty, and the procedure to apply online for the CIN number and other aspects related to the CIN.


Q: Do Section 8 companies require CIN?


Yes. Section 8 companies also require a CIN just like all other companies. The ownership code will be NPL for such companies. 

Q: Where are RoCs located?


The Registrar of Companies or RoC is located in many major cities of India, spread across states and union territories. 

Q: How do I know whether a company is listed in the stock market exchange or not?


The first letter of the CIN represents whether the firm is listed or unlisted under the stock market exchange. You can easily identify this since the letter will either be 'L' or 'U'. L stands for listed companies, while U stands for unlisted companies.

Q: What is the CIN number full form?


CIN is the abbreviated version of Corporate Identification Number. 

Q: Where can I find the industry codes for different sectors of companies?


You can find the industry codes from the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It contains information on the various types of industries and provides respective codes for each. You can find the codes in this pdf -  https://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/dca/efiling/NIC-2004_detail_19jan2009.pdf

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