The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, or UKSIC as it is sometimes referred to in the UK, is an industry classification that is used to help separate out and classify businesses depending on the type of economic activity that they undertake and the industry that they operate within. Below, we explore in more detail exactly what a SIC code is, and how you can change it should your business change direction.

What are SIC codes?

SIC codes are attributed to a business to help identify what that business does, and more than one SIC code can be applied to a business, although the limit is four SIC codes. There have been a number of different SIC systems within the UK, with the different changes being introduced to reflect the economy at that time.

For example, in the 1980s the system was much more geared around manufacturing businesses, while it was heavier in IT companies from 2007 onwards. The 2007 SIC system is still the most current version used.

SIC codes help to provide a framework for the collection, presentation, and analysis of a business’ data and also help non-governmental bodies to easily identify what a business does.

Current 2007 SIC codes

Below are all of the current SIC code classifications within the UK:

  1. Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
  2. Mining and Quarrying
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Electricity, Gas, Steam, and Air Conditioning
  5. Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management, and Remediation activities
  6. Construction
  7. Wholesale & Retail Trade, Motors Repairs
  8. Transport and Storage
  9. Accommodation and Food Service activities
  10. Information and Communication
  11. Financial and Insurance activities
  12. Real Estate activities
  13. Professional, Scientific and Technical activities
  14. Administrative and Support Service activities
  15. Public Administration, Defence, and Compulsory Social Security
  16. Education
  17. Human Health and Social Work activities
  18. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreational activities
  19. Other service activities
  20. Activities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods and services producing activities of households for own use
  21. Extraterritorial organisations and bodies’ activities

As can be seen, there are a huge number of classifications available to help easily identify the different businesses that have been established within the UK. However, it is possible to change your SIC code. We explore this in more detail below.

You can find out more on the specifics of the current 2007 SIC codes here.

How can I change my SIC code?

To change your SIC code, you must notify Companies House of your decision when filing your Confirmation Statement, previously known as an Annual Return. A Confirmation Statement is used for companies to provide the most up-to-date information to Companies House to be included on the public register.

If you want to change you SIC code immediately, then you can file a Confirmation Statement to Companies House early, or you can simply wait until the next returns date.

Why might you need to change your SIC code?

There are multiple reasons that you may need to change your SIC code, which are:

  • Your business has changed direction and industry
  • You chose the wrong SIC code when first establishing your business (this can be easy to do as some businesses operate in multiple areas and some of the SIC codes are quite vague)
  • Your business has expanded and needs to incorporate a new SIC code (you can have up to four SIC codes)

Does it matter if I have the wrong SIC code?

If you have the wrong SIC code, then it’s not the end of the world, and Companies House won’t be hunting you down or penalising you for it. However, it is good practice to keep your information up-to-date, and should you need help with this you can speak to us and we can help you identify what SIC code your business falls under.

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With a background in design, I started my career working in various UK based start ups. Branding, social media campaigns and digital design were my main strengths. Then, I dived into the business side of things. I am now a key researcher and creative content writer at CompanyFormations 24.7.