Format of CIN Number: A Crucial Identifier for Incorporated Companies in India

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • January 10, 2024
Format of CIN - Corporate Identification Number
QUICK SUMMARY ↬ The format of CIN Number is crucial to gain insights into a company’s crucial information like its listing status, incorporation year, legal structure, and registration number. Wondering How? Read the complete blog for full details. Besides, CIN number is required for a company’s unique identification, and regulatory compliances as well. So obtaining it is not just beneficial but also mandatory for Indian companies. This blog explains the process of obtaining CIN in its correct format through an elaborate stepwise guide.
A Corporate Identification Number or CIN is a 21-digit alphanumeric code assigned to a company by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) soon after its incorporation. The number is mentioned in the Certificate of Incorporation itself. Although it is unique for every company, its format is specifically defined. Every digit has a purpose and deciphers crucial information about the company. We will elaborate on CIN Number format further in the blog. Note that CIN number is mentioned on every other significant document of the company, besides the Certificate of Incorporation. This includes the receipts and invoices generated by the company, its letterheads, reports, bills, and e-forms to different regulatory authorities.

Understanding the Format of CIN Number

The Format of CIN Number is no arbitrary string of characters; it’s a meticulously structured alphanumeric code that unveils crucial insights about a company. CIN follows a specific pattern that serves as a key to unlock essential details like a company’s listing status, industry code representing its primary business activity, state code indicating the registered location, the year of incorporation, and the legal structure. To illustrate the CIN format, let’s take an example.

Illustration of CIN Format

The CIN number format of Setindiabiz Private Limited is U 74900 DL 2015 PTC 282029. Let’s decipher its meaning.
  1. Listing Status: The first letter in the format of 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: Following the 1st letter, the next five digits of the CIN format 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 number format 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 in the CIN format specifies the legal structure with which a 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 format of CIN represents a company’s registration number. In our example, the last 6 digits, 28029, is the registration number of Setindiabiz Private Limited.

How to obtain a CIN? - Stepwise Guide

A CIN, in its accurate format, is allotted to the company after its incorporation by the Registrar of Companies. It is assigned with the issuance of the Certificate of Incorporation. This indicates that the company registration process has to be completed before CIN allotment. Here are the steps you need to follow!
  • 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 the unique CIN number in its specified format.

The format of CIN, with its structured arrangement of numbers and alphabets, encapsulates the essence of a company’s identity. Beyond being a mere proof of registration, the CIN Number Format acts as a comprehensive guide, providing a unique snapshot of a company’s listing status, industry type, registered state, year of inception, and legal structure. Navigating the nuances of obtaining a CIN and understanding its intricacies becomes a simplified process through this blog.



Q1: What is the CIN Number?

The CIN Number is a structured 21-digit alpha-numeric code assigned to companies in India. It holds paramount importance as it serves as a unique identifier, providing key information about a company’s listing status, industry code, state of registration, year of incorporation, and legal structure.

Q2: What is the meaning of the format of CIN Number?

Understanding the Format of CIN Number involves decoding the specific pattern it follows. Here are the details:

(i) Listing Status 

(ii) Industry Code for Business Activity

(iii) State Code 

(iv) Year of Incorporation

(v) Legal Structure 

(vi) Registration Number

Q3: Is the CIN format found on all official documents of the company?

Yes, the CIN format is prominently featured in a company’s Certificate of Incorporation and extends to various official documents, including receipts, invoices, letterheads, reports, bills, and compliance forms. Its consistent presence across these documents reinforces its role as a unique and pervasive identifier for the company.

Q4: How can a company obtain its CIN Number?

Obtaining a Cin Number involves the company registration process under the Companies Act, 2013. The company needs to visit and log in to the official website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, fill out the requisite SPICe+ / INC 32 form, submit the form with necessary documents and application fee, undergo examination by the Registrar of Companies, and upon approval, receive a Certificate of Registration containing the Cin Number.

Q5: Is the CIN Number Format the same for all types of companies?

No, the Cin Number Format varies based on the legal structure of the company. Different legal structures, such as Private Limited Companies, Public Limited Companies, Government Companies, and others, have distinct codes within the CIN Format. Understanding these codes is crucial for accurately interpreting the Cin Number and gaining insights into the company’s nature and structure.
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