What is a Corporate Identification Number (CIN) of a company

Starting a new business is much more than implementing the ideas to solve real life problems and making an income from it. When you are willing to transform your idea into a real life entity and form a company, you need to keep a lot of things in mind. Apart from the planning, execution and funding you also need to take care of the legalization of your company and its registration. This article contains everything you need to know about the Corporate Identity Number (CIN) of a company. To get a detailed understanding of the topic, read further. 

What is CIN? 

The Corporate Identification Number is a unique identification number or code provided by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Also known as the Corporate Identity Number or CIN, it is a 21 digit alpha-numeric identification number which is different for different companies. Companies of all type are issued ROC. From Limited Company, Private Limited Company, One Person Company to Nidhi Company and others. 

Not only does the code hold the identity of the company along with its basic information but also ascertains the authenticity of the company. It is essential for tracking and finding the details of a company registered under the MCA. The concerned ROC of your state or Union Territory assigns the unique CIN code and the approved name of your company on the issued certificate of incorporation of your new company. 

How does the CIN code translate information about a company? 

As said earlier, the CIN code is a 21 digit alpha-numeric number. To gather vital information about a company, each of the digits can be broken into various parts. Let us see below how the Corporate Identity Number (CIN) number can be translated into information. 

  1. The very first digit of the code is a character. In the Indian stock market, if the company is listed then the CIN number will start with ‘L’ and if not it starts with ‘U’ which means unlisted.
  1. After the first character comes five numeric digits which imply the industry to which a company belongs. Every company that executes economic activities in India is provided such codes by MCA. 
  1. The next two characters after the industry code refer to the State or Union Territory, a company has been registered. 

For instance, 

  • DL is used for Delhi
  • MH is used for Maharashtra
  1. The next four numeric digits of the CIN code reflects the year of incorporation of a company. 
  2. Here are the 3 characters that signifies whether a company is private limited, public limited or other. 

For example, 

  1. The ending 6 digits is the registration number of the company provided by ROC. 

Documents where CIN code should be mentioned and penalty for disagreement

A company established in India must contain the Corporate Identification Number listed on some documents. 

  • The invoices and receipts issued by the company must contain the CIN number. 
  • Company should mention CIN in their annual report. 
  • Any e-form on the MCA portal must contain the CIN of a company. 
  • Notices and letterhead are other documents where the CIN must be listed. 
  • A company, apart from the above mentioned documents should also mention CIN in other publications of the company. 

If a company fails to comply with these requirements. The company can be levied with a penalty of INR 1000 per day. Or as per many cases the company can be charged with a penalty of INR 1,00,000 which is the maximum amount charged.