The SIC code with Companies House

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When you’re 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 (UK) and what it represents. What’s more, as a contractor, you may ask what is my contractor SIC code? In this guide we’ll look here at what is a SIC code for business. In addition, we’ll investigate what is the UK SIC code for consulting services (UK), and what contractor code represents IT consulting contractors. Further still, we’ll look at how to find the Companies House SIC codes (or code) for your industry and trade. What’s more, we’ll consider how to do a Companies House SIC code search as well as add and change SIC code (Companies House).

The SIC (Companies House) is a code which represents the type of business i.e., the activities of your business. This is also known as the Companies House nature of business (SIC). Therefore, how do you find your SIC code (UK)? Today, the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC codes) system is in place. This is a long list of sic codes (UK) split up into different types of industry groups and gives each type of trade/business a Companies House SIC code. Each industrial category has hundreds of codes in the UK SIC code list which cover all kinds of business trades in all sectors. There’s also a section relating to `other business support service activities n.e.c.’. We’ll cover the business activities n.e.c. meaning later.

The SIC code system is in use by the UK public body called Companies House. To sum up, this classification system is there to identify the trade activity(s) of each company in the UK. This is because you have to choose at least one of the Companies House SIC codes.

Initial thoughts 

What to think about first for a business code for contractor

When you set up your own company for contracting or trading in general, it must have at least one company SIC code. If you are a type of contractor business consultant, you will have to choose a contractor SIC code that represents your type of activity. Contractor consulting type roles can cover a wide array of business industries therefore you should choose the code that best represents your work. Indeed, 62020 SIC code is the main one for IT consultants, however some consultants fall into 70221 sic code or even sic code 71129. Further, you may need sic code 74909 or even choose 82990 (nature of business). We will look at all of these in more detail later on.

Alternatively, if you have been running your company for some time, you should already have one or more Companies House SIC codes in place. Therefore, you will report your contractor’s 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.

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 the list of sic codes in early 2008, and they are available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Common questions

Many new limited company contractors will have questions around UK SIC codes. They will may also need help on which code or codes they should choose when they do a SIC code search. Such questions will include:

  • What are SIC codes used for (UK)?
  • Can I change SIC code Companies House?
  • How to add SIC code to company?
  • How to add a SIC code on Companies House?
  • Can you add SIC codes later?
  • How many SIC codes can a company have?
  • What is the SIC code for consulting services?
  • How do I change SIC code at Companies House?
  • What does SIC code 82990 mean?
  • How to change the SIC code at Companies House?
  • How to change nature of business Companies House?
  • What is the SIC code for professional services?
  • What is the SIC code (business consulting)?

In this guide, we’ll take a look at all of the above in more detail.  What’s more we’ll look at SIC 62020 in more detail, since this relates to IT consultants.

What is the UK SIC code and how does it work 

How do I find a company’s business SIC code?

If you have your own company, you will need a company SIC code with Companies House and look for the SIC code for contractors that represents your type of activity. Therefore, how do I find a contractor’s SIC code for my company? 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 UK SIC codes (Companies House), you may find that there are no Companies House SIC 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 of the Companies House SIC codes, if it has different trade activities.

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

SIC codes list (UK) -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 list of sic codes, and this is a comprehensive online record of UK 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 Companies House SIC codes from 2007. The link below from HMRC is an excellent place to get started and locate your Companies House SIC code or codes. 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 business SIC code for IT consulting. The answer here for the company SIC code and consultancy SIC code which you will need is:

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

There are also sub codes within the main list for this IT consulting services SIC code. We explain individual codes later on but you can see the sub codes on the main list online.

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 and this will include various types of contractor business consulting SIC codes. When you are searching for your SIC, contractor industries are shown in the standard list and you should choose the trade description which fits your work. Within the standard classification list, there are over 700 codes and quite a number of these have the letters `NEC’ attributed to them. These letters stand for `Not Elsewhere Classified’ and you may need to choose one of these if you cannot find your code in the list.

Indeed, many UK contractors will ask what is the consultancy sic code and then search for the `UK SIC code for business consulting’. Therefore, when you look for your contractor SIC code, it really depends what sort of consulting you are doing before you can determine your code. Other common searches in terms of contractor classification codes are 62020 SIC code (IT contractor companies), 70229 SIC code (management consultancy) and sic code 70221 (financial consultancy). Another option is the 82990 sic code which you may choose if you cannot find a code that represents your type of activity in the list.

There are some main types of consulting business code and contractor SIC codes which are within the standard Companies House SIC code list (UK). Therefore, when you search for an SIC code for consultant type services as a consultant, this list shows the main choices:

Basically, the main examples for contractor SIC codes from the standard SIC code list which could apply to your business activity are:

Companies House SIC codes Trade Description
41100 Development of building projects.
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 for SIC code for consultancy services 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.
63110 Batch processing; Data conversion; Data preparation services; Data processing.
63990 Other information service activities n.e.c.
66190 Independent financial advisor SIC code (not specialising in insurance or pensions advice). This code also labels as 66190 – activities auxiliary to financial intermediation not elsewhere classified.
68320 Management of real estate on a fee or contract basis.
69102 Solicitors (legal consultants).
70221 Financial management consultancy services (except Corporate Tax). This is the main financial management SIC code.
70229 Management consultancy activities, other than financial management. This is the main management consulting SIC code.
71121 to 71129 Other engineering activities.
74909 Other professional, scientific and technical activities not elsewhere classified.
82990 SIC code 82990 – other business support service activities not elsewhere classified. Basically, you can use sic 82990 if no others fit your trade description. However, before you select nature of business 82990, please check the other codes thoroughly.
96090 Other service activities not elsewhere classified. SIC code 96090 covers other service activities n.e.c.
4321 Plumbing contractor.
4322 Electrical contractor.
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 (Companies House).

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. When you do this, you will look at how to change nature of business (Companies House). What’s more, 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 code from list of Companies House SIC codes.

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 (Companies House) 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 Companies House SIC codes or 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 contractor SIC 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 Companies House SIC code is incorrect, you should look to put this right. You can do this by looking for you nature of business (Companies House) on their standard list. As mentioned earlier, it is not an offence to have an incorrect business 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 your contractor SIC code 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 type of work. If you later find out that you have an incorrect code, you should change SIC code (Companies House) so that it is correct for the future. To sum up, you can be happy that this is correct, once 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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