Popular company identifiers you should know and their importance

May 05, 2022 / Muthukumar K

Once a private bank was sifting its corporate client list using PAN numbers. To their surprise, they found the names of 15 clients registered under a single PAN. In effect, 15 different versions of its name had led to the client name being registered differently by the bank officials.

Company identifiers are a valuable database tool that can be strategically used by banks and corporations in various areas including CRM and risk management.

Here are some of the popular company identifiers that you should know of:


CIN or Corporate Identification Number is a 21-digit alphanumeric code that is assigned by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to companies registered in India. It is provided to all companies including private/public limited companies, one-person companies, companies owned by the Government of India and State Government companies. However, for Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) registered in India, a separate seven-digit identification number called the LLPIN (Limited Liability Partnership Identification Number) is given by ROC.

The 21-digit CIN is easily translatable and helps in finding basic information about the company. Moreover, any change in listing status, location or industry of operation and you get a whiff of it from its CIN status.


GSTIN is an abbreviated form of Goods and Services Tax Identification Number that is allotted by GST Network after applying for the GST registration.

GST is a destination-based indirect tax levied on the supply of goods and services. So, a company operating in two or more states applies for a separate 15-digit GSTIN number in each state. GSTIN can provide information about the business entity, date of registration, the state in which it is operating as well as the kind of business it is doing.

For instance, its 13th digit denotes the number of registrations the business entity has for business verticals in the state and under the same PAN.  So, if the business gets a GST number for its fourth business vertical in the state, its 13th digit will be 4 and so on.


A Permanent Account Number or PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number that contains vital information about the PAN cardholder and is arguably the most popular company identifier. For instance, an entity might have multiple GSTIN registrations due to its operations in different states or due to its operations in multiple business verticals in a single state. However, all such GSTINs will have to be compulsorily linked to the same PAN of the entity. Thus, one can use PAN to identify, for instance, the lending exposure of a bank to a single business group.


From the 1st of April 2021, this 20-digit Legal Entity Identifier or LEI is applicable for all payment transactions of value Rs 50 crore and above undertaken by entities (non-individuals) using centralized payment systems like RTGS and NEFT. All entities receiving or initiating transactions to that effect need to get the LEI number from the Legal Entity identifier India (LEIL).


Tax deduction and collection account number or TAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric identifier. It is compulsory to obtain TAN for individuals or businesses mandated by the Government to collect or deduct tax. A single entity can obtain different TANs for its various branches or divisions.

You can verify the TAN of anyone using the Income Tax Department’s website to ensure deductions for payments made to you were rightfully and legally done.

The Approach

Ministry of Corporate Affairs or MCA website gives CIN-based details, while the Income Tax website will give details about PAN and TAN. GSTIN-related company details could in turn be found on the GST government website.

Additionally, there are some cloud-based data providers that integrate all this company information and provide it in a user-friendly format. Use them as strategic tools for your business decision making.


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