When incorporating a company in the UK, registering a business for VAT, or opening a business banking account, and other registration processes you have to choose at least one SIC code, and sometimes more. SIC codes make up a classification system that tells Companies House and other institutions in broad terms what the company does. It is a structured system that promotes uniformity in recording companies’ main business activities.
What is a SIC code?
A Standard Industrial Classification code or SIC code is a 5-digit code that classifies a business’s main area of economic activity and is used for sorting companies into categories. It must be chosen from an official list of SIC codes. The classification of each company is available for anyone to view on the public record.
SIC codes are grouped into sections of categories. The sections are alphabetical starting with Section A. Each section covers a pretty wide but related list of activities, for example Section A is Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Section H is Transportation and Storage, going all the way to Section U which is Activities of Extraterritorial Organizations and Bodies!
How to find my SIC code?
The best place to start looking for the relative SIC codes to your business is the .gov website. On the .gov site you will find the complete list of UK SIC codes and their respective business activities. This list is the full list of codes available from the Office of National Statistics.
How many SIC codes does my company need?
Normally only one SIC code is required. However there may be situations where more than one code is not only required but preferable. It is always best to seek professional legal advice to insure your company is correctly set up. For example, if you are running a limited company that’s business is property, the business both buys and sells property and also retains property to rent, multiple codes may be required.
Do I need a SIC code if my business is not trading?
Yes, a dormant company still requires a SIC code! In fact there is a specific SIC code for dormant companies and non-trading. Again you will need to seek professional legal advice for which code is correct for your business.