India: What is a company registration number?

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If you want to open a company in India, the first thing you will need is a company registration number, which is called CIN. With that number, others can find the primary details regarding the company. This number is provided by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) which has locations around India and functions under the supervision of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

India Company Registration Certificate

The certificate that registers a company in India is based on a unique number granted by the ROC once the company is formed. That certificate will be made available through the ROC Agency of the state where the new company is located. The name of the company can be found on it, as well as the registration number which offers all the basic information on the new company.

This number will be necessary for all communication between the company and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It will also serve for any report the company may have to make of for an audit that government might decide to do. Other companies or individuals looking to collaborate with an Indian company will be able to do a search of this registration number to confirm that it really exists and to get information on it.

How Do You Find a Company Registration Number?

In all states of India, you will find the CIN at the ROC, in the state where they are located. This is true for all states but the North Eastern States and the Union Territories, which do not have a ROC location. This Indian government agency was created to make sure that all companies in India were incorporated. Their task is to gather information on companies’ data and keep it up-to-date inside the registries. Therefore, if someone is looking for a company registration number for themselves or to look-up another company, they will have to enquire at the Registrar of Company (ROC).

This agency also takes care of other things than just the registration number. As we mentioned, they need to keep the information updated, which may include any change of company names. If a company is looking to change its status, from a private company to a public company for example, then it is the ROC which will handle the procedure (see the various classifications a little further down this article). If a company defaults, they’ll have to take actions against them and strike them off the registry when they close down.

Which Companies Use CRN Certificate India?

All companies registered at the ROC under the classification of Public Limited Company (PLC) need to have the 21 digit alphanumeric code called the CIN. But the ROC incorporates many other classifications of business. If you are looking for a particular company in India, it will fall under one of the classifications below (alphabetical order by acronyms):

  • Financial Lease Company (FLC)
  • Subsidiary of a Foreign Company (FTC)
  • General Association Public (GAP)
  • General Association Private (GAT)
  • Companies Owned by the Government of India (GOI)
  • Non-profit License Company (NPL)
  • One Person Company (OPC)
  • Public Limited Company (PLC)
  • Private Limited Company (PTC)
  • Companies Owned by State Government (SGC)
  • Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability (ULL)
  • Public Limited Company with Unlimited Liability (ULT)

Company Registration Number Format

The company registration number format in India is made of 21 digits. Each letter and number represents precise information regarding the company, making it easy to read and translate into hard data. Here is the explanation of each part of this number which we will indicate by using the example of this fictitious company’s registration number: U72200MH2009PLC123456

U: The first letter is there to indicate if the company is on the stock exchange or not. If it is a “U”, like our example, it means that it is not listed. If it had been an “L”, it would have meant that you can find it listed on the stock exchange.

72301: This five-digit number indicates the economic activity of the company. Each of them means something different. In the example, 7 is the section, 2 is the division, 3 is the group, 0 is the class and 1 is the sub-class.

MH: These two letters represent the state of the ROC where the company was registered. In this case, MH would designate Maharashtra.

2009: This is the year when the company was first registered at the ROC as an incorporated company.

PLC: These three letters refer to the classifications of company we have listed previously, which are under the control of the registrar. In this case, PLC means Public Limited Company.

123456: The last six digits number is what differentiates each company entirely, as it is a unique number given to each of them, which also includes the code of the ROC where the company was incorporated.

When Does a Company uses its CIN?

The company will use this number to communicate with tax agencies as well as for reporting and auditing purposes. It should also appear on all memos, bills, notices, letterheads, annual reports, e-forms and many other publications.


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