What is the CIN?

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • May 13, 2019
Format of CIN - Corporate Identification Number
Corporate Identification Number or CIN is a 21 digits alpha-numeric code alloted to companies incorporated or registered in India by the Registrar of Companies, an office under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Along with the Certificate of Registration or incorporation, the not only acts as the conclusive proof of registration of the company but is also considered as a unique identifier for the company.
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The CIN of a company is mentioned in its Certificate of Incorporation and every other significant document of the company like the receipts and invoices generated by the company, its letterheads, reports, bills, and all the e-forms filled out for fulfilling different compliances of the company like obtaining tax registrations, filing annual returns, and obtaining various licenses and certifications.

Understanding the format of CIN

A CIN is not simply a random choice of numbers and alphabets put together and assigned to a company. Instead, it follows a specific pattern, and conveys extremely relevant information about the company like its listing status, industry code, state code, year of incorporation, and its legal structure. Let us understand this with an example.
The CIN number of Setindiabiz Private Limited is U 74900 DL 2015 PTC 282029
  1. Listing Status: The first letter of the CIN conveys the listing status of the company under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). If the company is listed, the first letter of its CIN will show “L” and if its unlisted, the first letter will show “U”. In our illustration here, the first letter is “U”, which means the company concerned here is “unlisted”.
  2. Industry Code: The Industry Code indicates the nature of business activity carried out by the company. Following the 1st letter, the next five digits of the CIN represents the industry code of the company and conveys information about its primary business activity. Read our dedicated blog on Industry codes for incorporated companies here.
  3. State Code: The seventh and eighth places of the CIN are alphabets denoting the state where the registered office of the company is situated. Here, in our example, the alphabets at the seventh and eighth positions read “DL” which is the state code for Delhi. This means that the company “Setindiabiz Private Limited” is registered in the state of Delhi.
  4. Year of Incorporation: The next four digits immediately succeeding the state code, specifies the year in which the company in concern was incorporated. Since Setindiabiz was incorporated in the year 2015, “2015” appears in its CIN immediately after the state code “DL”.
  5. Legal Structure: The three alphabets immediately succeeding the year of incorporation specify the legal structure with which the company has been incorporated. A company can be incorporated with various legal structures like public limited company, private limited company, one person company, unlimited companies, and a lot more. Refer to the table below to know the codes assigned to various corporate legal structures.
    Legal Structure of Company Code for CIN
    Public Limited Company PLC
    Private Limited Company PTC
    Government Company GOI
    Not for profit company NPL
    State-owned companies SGC
    Public Unlimited Company ULL
    Private Unlimited Company ULT
    Now, since Setindiabiz is incorporated as a Private Limited Company the legal structure mentioned in its CIN rightly reads as “PTC”.
  6. Registration Number of Company: The last six digits of the CIN of a company represents its registration, the number that its Certificate of Registration contains. In our example, the last 6 digits, 28029, is the registration number of Setindiabiz Private Limited.

How to obtain a CIN?

A CIN is allotted to the company after the process of its incorporation is completed by the Registrar of Companies. It is mentioned in the Certificate of Registration that the Registrar of Companies issues in the name of the incorporated company. This makes it crystal clear that to obtain a CIN, you shall first register your company in the manner mentioned under the Companies Act, 2013.
To register you company you need to follow the following five simple steps:
Step 1:
Visit and login to the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Step 2:
Search and fill out the SPICe+ / INC 32 form, prescribed for the registration of the company.
Step 3:
Submit the form after uploading the required documents and paying the prescribed application fee.
Step 4:
The form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar of Companies who examines the application and upon being satisfied of its accuracy, registers the company.
Step 5:
Immediately after the company is registered, the Registrar issues a Certificate of Registration to the company, which also contains its unique identification number CIN.


We hope that this blog has been helpful for you to understand all the aspects of CIN which you receive after the registration or incorporation of the company. If you still have any questions, you can avail our free consultancy services where our experts will guide you to resolve all your doubts and queries.

How can you help Setindiabiz?

Setindiabiz is an organized team of experienced CA, CS, & Lawyers, duly supported by a pool of trained accountants & paralegal staff that provides quality & affordable compliance services to startups & small businesses in India. We specialize in company registration, with more than 18 years of experience in the field. To avail our services, you can request a callback from our startup advisors, or directly subscribe to our package of company registration.

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