SIC code: What is it and how to find your company’s code

Defining your nature of business (SIC): what is a SIC code, and how and when do you choose it?

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A Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) is used to categorise and describe what your business does. They are separated into individual groups and each company will have to choose the codes that reflect their business activity.

Some examples of SIC codes and their meaning:

01230 – Growing of citrus fruits

10821 – Manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate confectionery

68310 – Real estate agencies

96020 – Hairdressing and other beauty treatment

99999 – Dormant Companies

Here is a list of codes with clear classifications to get you started.

Once you have chosen what code relates to your business, it will be used by Companies House and other external bodies to pinpoint what your company does and sort it into the correct category. Any classification group you’ve chosen for your company will be open to the public for anyone to view.

How many codes can I choose?

Most companies will select a single code to describe what their business. Although this may be so for some, many businesses are rather complex, so will need to select more than one code, if this is you, you can select up to a maximum of four codes to describe what your business does.

When will I need a SIC code?

The rules changed on June 30th, 2016, so now you will need to provide a SIC code when going through the process of forming your company, this is to describe your companies pre-planned activities. Should you fail to select one or up to a maximum of four SIC codes, your Companies House application will be rejected.

Any company formed before the 30th of June 2016, will only need to provide your SIC code (s) when filing the annual confirmation statement if the company has gone through any changes during the year. If your company was formed before the 30th of June 2016, but has not submitted an annual return or confirmation statement, the SIC codes will be required in the first confirmation statement, but not in any returns after this.

How to change my SIC code?

The only way to change your SIC code is to file a confirmation statement.

This can be done when your confirmation statement is due (1-year and 14-days after incorporation) or you can go ahead and file an early confirmation statement.

It is important to bear in mind that although you need a SIC code if you’ve made the mistake of selecting the wrong code, you are not required to operate under this code, you can simply update and correct your code at any time.

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