The SIC code with Companies House

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Introduction -SIC code (Companies House)

When you are a UK contractor or limited company owner, what are UK Companies House SIC codes? Many UK contracting individuals and business owners will ask what is SIC code and what does it represent. Therefore, we will look here at what is a SIC code for business. In addition, we will investigate what is the consultancy SIC code and what code represents IT consulting. We will also look at how to find the codes (or code) for your industry and trade. Furthermore, we will also consider how to both add and change SIC code (Companies House). Notably, the SIC (Companies House) is a code that represents the kind of business operated i.e., the activities of your business. This is also known as the Companies House nature of business. Therefore, how do you find your SIC code?

Today, the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC codes) system is in place. This is a long list split s up into different types of industry groups and gives each type of trade/business a SIC code. Each industrial category has hundreds of codes in the SIC code list and these cover all kinds of business trades in all sectors. This Standard Industrial Classification system is in use by Companies House. It is there to identify the trade activity(s) of each company in the UK.

Initial thoughts

What to think about first

When you set up your own company for contracting or trading in general, it must have at least one company SIC code. Alternatively, if you have been running your company for some time, you should already have one or more codes. You will report the code to Companies House as part of your public record.

What is a SIC code for business?

When we consider what is a SIC code for business, these industrial codes came out in 1948, and government bodies now use these. These bodies include Companies House, which looks after the UK companies’ register. The Companies House SIC codes are there to classify all companies in all industry categories for the collection and analysis of data.

Notably, over the years, the government has decided to amend these codes. These changes reflect new business categories as they appear over time.

The latest list of Companies House industrial classification SIC codes (UK) that are now in use came out in 2007. The government published these in early 2008, and they are available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

What is the SIC code and how does it work

How do I find a company’s SIC code?

If you have your own company, you will need a company SIC code with Companies House. Therefore, how do I find my company’s sic code? You will need to research the official list and your choice should be an accurate description of what your business does day to day. If you do not choose a code when you set up your company, Companies House will reject your application.

Therefore, when you set a company up in the UK and go through the company formation process, you need to choose a Companies House SIC code. When you are searching for what is my SIC code (Companies House), you may find that there are no codes that fit your exact description of work. If this is so, you will need to find the closest fit and use this. Selecting a code will apply whether it is a) going to be trading straight away or b) if it is going to be a dormant company for some time.

In many cases, your accountant will organise the above process for you as part of setting up your new company. However, it is part of your director’s duties to ensure that you choose the correct code for your business.

Finally, a company may have more than one code if it has different trades.

There is also a maximum of four codes that can you can choose for your company.

SIC code list -business categories list in the UK

When you set up your own company, you will need to consider how do I find my Companies House SIC codes or code. The answer here is Companies House provide a standard industrial classification code list, and this is a comprehensive online record of SIC codes (Companies House) for each industry and the trades within those.

If you now take steps to set up your own company, you need to check through the latest version of the codes from 2007. The link below from HMRC is an excellent place to get started. There is also a condensed list on this page, and this is much easier to look through:

You can find the full list of the Companies House trade classification codes on the ONS website:

Frequent choices of Companies House codes for UK contractors and consultants

IT consulting or Information Technology consulting SIC code (Companies House)

If you are an IT contractor or consultant, you will want to know what is the SIC code for IT consulting. The answer here for the company SIC code which you will need is:

62020 Information technology consultancy activities -this is used by most IT consultants

Examples of the common company SIC codes (Companies House) for UK contractors

We will now list some examples of the typical limited company contractor SIC codes. This will include various types of business consulting SIC codes. It is notable that many will ask what is the consultancy sic code and search for the `UK SIC code for business consulting’. When you do this, it really depends what sort of consulting you are doing before you can determine your code. Other common searches are for 62020 SIC code (IT consultancy) and 70229 SIC code (management consultancy). Therefore, the main examples for contractor SIC codes from the standard SIC code list which could apply to your business activity are:

SIC code Trade Description
62020 IT consulting SIC code. This represents computer type consultancy activities and as mentioned earlier this is the main IT consulting SIC code for limited company contractors. There are various sub-categories under SIC code 62020 however the most common two for contractors will be software consultancy and information technology consultancy activities. Therefore, if you work in IT this will likely be your IT consultant SIC code.
66190 Independent financial advisor SIC code (not specialising in insurance or pensions advice).
69102 Solicitors (legal consultants).
70221 Financial management consultancy services (except Corporate Tax).
70229 Management consultancy activities, other than financial management.
71121 to 71129 Other engineering activities.
74909 Other professional, scientific, and technical activities.
82990 The SIC code 82990 represents `Other business support services activities not elsewhere categorised’. You can use this code if no others fit your trade description.
6719 SIC code 6719 -offices of companies whose securities they hold. These are companies holding securities and they are establishments primarily engaged in holding or owning securities of companies other than banks, for the sole purpose of exercising some degree of control over the activities of the companies whose securities they hold. These are effectively holding companies whereby funds can be moved upwards to protect them.
7010 SIC code 7010 -activities of head offices. This will include overseeing and management of other units of the company or enterprise. In addition, the head office will undertake strategic or organisational planning and decisions.

How to change SIC code on Companies House

When you have your own limited company, you may need to know how to change a SIC code on Companies House, if the need arises. We will now consider what to do when you are going to change company SIC code.

What if I need to contact Companies House & change SIC code?

During your business’s lifetime, you may at some point need to know how to change SIC code at Companies House. Some of the reasons why you may need to change SIC code (Companies House) could be:

  • Your business now has a different main activity. It may also now be in another industry.
  • When you first set up your company, you picked the wrong code. It is possible to do this if your business operates in different areas. Also, some of the codes on the list are not always very clear. Therefore, you need to change SIC code now.
  • Your business has started an additional trade, and you need to add a new SIC code.

How do I change SIC code (Companies House)

If you are investigating how to change company sic code, or looking at how to update SIC code at Companies House, how do you do this? The only way is to do this is to make a Companies House SIC code change via the annual Confirmation Statement when you file this. The Confirmation Statement was previously called the Annual Return; however, this changed its name several years ago. The form contains various company information, including your Companies House SIC codes or code. If you looking into changing sic code straight away, you can file a Confirmation Statement early.

How to add SIC code on Companies House

When you are in business you may have started a new activity or trade therefore you may need to find out how to add another SIC code on Companies House. However, if this is only a minor part of your business activities you do not need to update your code. On the other hand, if this new trade is picking up and can be seen as one of your main activities you will need to add SIC code (Companies House). Once again, the way to add sic code to company record is update SIC code Companies House by filing a Confirmation Statement.

File another Confirmation Statement

If you have already filed your Confirmation Statement, paid the £13 fee, and now realise that your code needs updating, you can file another statement with Companies House. They will not charge the £13 fee again. That is if the statement is filed within twelve months before the following Confirmation Statement is due.

Penalty for wrong SIC code

What if I have the wrong code?

Will I receive a penalty for the wrong sic code even if I thought this was correct? If so, what will be the penalty for wrong SIC code?

Certainly, if it is the case that you have an incorrect code, there will not be a penalty for wrong SIC code, and neither is this a bad offence. Therefore, Companies House will not come knocking on your door or send your business a penalty for the wrong SIC code.

Correcting an incorrect code

To summarise, it is best practice to ensure that your Companies House SIC codes or code is correct or at least as accurate as it can be. Careless mistakes can potentially draw attention from the authorities; however, you will not receive a penalty for the wrong sic code.

If you need to change your code, you must file a Confirmation Statement as mentioned above. If you also need some help here, please speak to your accountant.

Other considerations

How to use the Companies House database to search companies by SIC code (UK)

The Companies House website now have this facility. You can do an `Advanced Company Search’ with different fields of data here. 

Other Companies House guides

Besides this guide on Companies House SIC codes, we have many other guides that help you navigate Companies House. These show and demonstrate how to report and make specific changes and we cover in these:

Final thoughts

As a final thought, Companies House should have your correct UK SIC code on record. As a UK contracting professional, if your code is incorrect, you should look to put this right. As mentioned earlier, it is not an offence to have an incorrect SIC code (Companies House). However, your company’s record with Companies House should be correct.

As a first time UK contractor and limited company owner, you will inform them of this when you set up your company for the first time. Please ask your accountant if you are unsure which Companies House SIC codes or code to pick or you cannot find the code that fits your work. If you have an incorrect code, you should change SIC code (Companies House) so that it is correct for the future. You can be happy that this is correct when you have the right code on your record.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on


Published On: April 6th, 2023 / Categories: Running Your Own Company /

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