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A Guide to SIC Codes

When forming your company, you’ll be asked to input the relevant SIC code…but what is it?

Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities, more commonly known as SIC codes, are a way of easily describing what your business does. These short numerical codes are used to classify companies based on the economic activities they carry out. Companies House uses SIC codes to provide an overview of a business’s activities and it is a requirement to include the correct SIC when initially setting up your company and then in your annual Confirmation Statements.

Companies House uses the Condensed SIC list, which can be found here in PDF or CSV format for you to download. To discover which code is appropriate for your business, simply navigate to the section that best represents your business. For example, if you are intending to set up an online magazine, you would locate the codes underneath Section J: Information and communication and then select a code such as 58190 Other publishing activities.

If your new business will fall under a particularly specific niche or will cover a particularly large range of activities, it is unlikely that there is one code that perfectly describes your company activities. You can choose one that is the closest match to what your business does, but it is also possible to choose up to four SIC codes if you wish.

Should you need to change your SIC code, you can do this in your annual Confirmation Statement by simply entering the new code in the relevant section of the document. It’s natural for businesses to change direction as they grow.

More information on SIC codes is available from Companies House