Companies House SIC codes

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As a business owner, Companies House SIC codes are a key consideration as a UK limited company contractor. Many contracting individuals and business owners ask what is SIC code (UK) and what SIC codes (Companies House) represent. What’s more, as a contractor, you might wonder what’s your contractor SIC code? In this guide, we’ll look at what is a SIC code and what are standard industrial classification codes for a contracting business. Furthermore, we’ll research the UK SIC code for consulting services (UK), and which contractor code represents IT consulting contractors. Further still, we’ll look at how to find the official code (or codes) for your industry and trade. Further, 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 code of its own. 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. As a result, you must choose at least one of the official codes for your company.

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’re a type of contractor business consultant, you’ll have to choose a contractor code that represents your type of activity. Contractor consulting type roles 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 code 74909 or even choose 82990 (nature of business). We’ll look at all of these codes in more detail later on in this guide.

On the other hand, if you’ve been running your company for some time, you should already have one or more Companies House SIC codes in place. Therefore, you’ll report your contractor’s code to Companies House as part of your company’s data on public record.

What is a SIC code for business?

When we consider your official SIC code for business, these industrial codes came out in 1948. As a result, government bodies in the UK now use these. These bodies include Companies House, which looks after the UK companies’ register. The Companies House SIC codes are there to classify 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 codes in early 2008, and they’re available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Common questions

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

  • What are SIC codes used for (UK)?
  • Can I change SIC code Companies House?
  • How to add SIC code to company?
  • Can you add SIC codes later?
  • How many SIC codes can a company have?
  • What is the SIC code for consulting services?
  • 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.  In addition, we’ll research SIC 62020 in more detail, since this relates to IT consultants.

The UK SIC code and how this works

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

If you have your own company, you’ll need an official 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’ll need to research the official list and your choice should be an accurate description of what your business does day to day. If you don’t 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 must choose a code for your trading activity. When you’re searching for UK SIC codes (Companies House), you may find that there’s no Companies House SIC codes that fit your exact description of work. If this is so, you’ll need to find the closest fit and use this. Selecting a code will apply whether it’s a) going to be trading straight away or b) if it’s going to be a dormant company for some time.

In many cases, your contractor accountant will organise the above process for you as part of setting up your new company. However, it’s part of your director’s duties to ensure that you choose the correct code for your business. A UK company you may need more than one of the official codes if it has different trade activities. In addition, there’s also a maximum of four codes that you can choose for your company.

SIC codes list (UK) -business categories list in the UK

When you set up your own company, you’ll need to consider how do I find a company’s SIC code or codes. 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 standard industrial classification codes from 2007. The link below from HMRC is an excellent place to get started and locate your code or codes. There are also codes on the condensed list of sic codes list on this page, and this version of the full list is much easier to look through:

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

There is also another list from Companies House that details all the codes available for different trades. What’s more, you can also read Companies House blog on choosing a business name.

Frequent choices of Companies House codes for UK contractors and consultants

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

If you’re an IT contractor or consultant, you’ll need to know what’s the business SIC code for IT consulting. The correct company consultancy SIC code 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’ll now list some examples of the typical limited company contractor codes, and this’ll include various types of contractor business consulting SIC codes. When you’re 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’s 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 which 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 on what sort of consulting you’re doing before you can determine your code. Other common searches in terms of contractor classification codes are 62020 (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 can’t find a code that represents your type of activity in the list.

There’s some main types of consulting business code and contractor 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, the following list shows the main choices for contractor codes.

Contractor SIC code list

Companies House SIC codes Trade Description
41100 Development of building projects.
62020 IT consulting SIC code. -this represents computer consultancy and is the main IT consulting SIC code. There are various sub-categories for SIC code for consultancy services under SIC code 62020, however the common two are software consultancy and information technology consultancy activities. Therefore, if when working in IT as a contractor, this is likely 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.  Civil engineering falls under code 43999.
74909 Other professional, scientific and technical activities not elsewhere classified.
82990 SIC code 82990 -other business support service activities not elsewhere classified. You can use SIC 82990 if no others fit your trade. However, before selecting nature of business 82990, check all codes thoroughly.
96090 SIC code 96090 -other service activities not elsewhere classified (n.e.c.).
4321 Plumbing contractor.
4322 Electrical contractor.
6719 SIC code 6719 -companies who hold securities. These companies hold securities which are primarily the securities of companies other than banks. More details are available online for these. Effectively they are holding companies whereby funds can be moved upwards to protect them.
7010 SIC code 7010 -activities of head offices including overseeing and management of other units of the company or enterprise. The head office will make business planning and decisions.

Changing your official SIC code

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. Therefore, how do you do this? Next in this guide, we’ll look at how to change or amend your official 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. When you do this, you’ll look at how to change nature of business (Companies House). In addition, some of the reasons why you may need to amend your code 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’s possible to do this if your business operates in different areas. Also, some of the codes on the list aren’t always very clear. As a result, you should correct your official 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’re 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 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’re 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 don’t 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’ll 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’ve 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’ll 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 an incorrect code even if I thought this was correct? If so, how much is the penalty for wrong SIC code? Certainly, if it’s the case that you’ve an incorrect contractor code, there’ll not be a penalty for this, and neither is it a bad offence. Therefore, Companies House won’t come knocking on your door or send your business a penalty for the wrong code.

Correcting an incorrect code

To summarise, it’s 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’ll not receive a penalty for an incorrect 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.

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’s 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’ll inform them of your contractor SIC code when you set up your company for the first time. Please ask your accountant if you’re unsure which Companies House SIC codes or code to pick, or you can’t find the code that fits your type of work. If you later find out that you’ve an incorrect code, you should change SIC code (Companies House) so that it’s 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: January 4th, 2024 / Categories: Running Your Own Company /

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