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 an SIC code (UK) and what the SIC codes (Companies House) represent. What’s more, as a contractor, you might wonder what your contractor’s SIC code is. Therefore, in this guide, we’ll look at both the SIC code and standard industrial classification codes for a contracting business. Moreover, we’ll research the UK SIC code for consulting services (UK) and which contractor code represents IT consulting contractors. Further, we’ll look at how to find the official code (or codes) for your industry and trade. Furthermore, we’ll consider how to search for a Companies House SIC code and add and change SIC code (Companies House).

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

The SIC code system is used by the UK public body Companies House. To sum up, this classification system is used 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 

First thoughts on business code for contractor

When you set up your own company for contracting or trading, it must have at least one company SIC code. If you’re a contractor business consultant, you must choose a contractor code representing your type of activity. Contractor consulting roles cover many business industries; therefore, you should select the code that best describes your work. Indeed, the SIC code 62020 is the main one of the Companies House SIC codes for IT consultants. However, some consultants fall into the 70221 SIC code or even SIC code 71129. Further, you may require code 74909 or even choose 82990 (nature of business). We’ll look at all these codes in more detail later in this guide.

On the other hand, if you’ve been running your company for some time, you should already have one or more 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 classify companies in all industry categories for the collection and analysis of data.

Over the years, the government has decided to amend these codes, reflecting new business categories as they appear over time.

The latest list of Companies House industrial classification SIC codes (UK) that are currently in use was published in 2007. The government published the list of codes in early 2008, and it’s available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The UK SIC code & how this works 

How to find a company’s business SIC code?

If you have a UK company, you’ll require an official code with Companies House and look for the SIC code for contractors representing your type of activity. Therefore, how do I find a contractor’s SIC code for my company? First, you can search the official list, and your choice should accurately describe what your business does daily. Companies House will reject your application if you don’t choose a code when you set up your company.

Therefore, when you set up a company in the UK and go through the company formation process, you must choose a code for your trading activity. When searching for Companies House SIC codes, you may find none that fit your exact description of work. If so, you should find the closest fit and use this. Selecting a code will apply whether the company is a) going to be trading straight away or b) it will be a dormant company for some time. Therefore, the SIC code Companies House have on record should reflect the nature of a company’s principle activity.

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

Business categories in the SIC codes list (UK)

When you set up your own company, you’ll want to find out how to find a company’s SIC code or codes. Companies House provides a standard industrial classification list of SIC codes, and this is a comprehensive online record of codes for each industry and the trades within those.

If you now take steps to set up your own company, you can 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 Companies House SIC codes or code. There are also codes on the condensed list of sic codes 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:

Another list from Companies House details all the codes available for different trades. Moreover, you can read the Companies House blog on choosing a business name.

Frequent choices of Companies House codes for UK contractors & consultants

What are the IT consulting or Information Technology consulting SIC codes?

You can use the business SIC code for IT consulting if you’re an IT contractor or consultant. Indeed, the correct company consultancy SIC code is:

62020 – Information technology consultancy activities -most IT consultants use this

Sub-codes are within the main list for this IT consulting services SIC code. We explain individual codes later, but you can see the main list’s sub-codes online.

Familiar Companies House SIC codes examples for UK contractors

Below, we’ll list examples of the typical limited company contractor codes, including various contractor business consulting SIC codes. When 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 are over 700 codes, and quite a number of these have the letter `NEC’ attributed to them. These letters stand for `Not Elsewhere Classified’; you can choose one of these if you can’t find your code in the list.

Indeed, many UK contractors will ask what the consultancy SIC code is and then search for the `UK SIC code for business consulting’. Therefore, looking for your contractor’s SIC code 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 representing your type of activity on the list.

Some main types of consulting business codes and contractor codes 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 code 62020. However, the two most common are software consultancy and information technology consultancy activities. Therefore, this is likely your IT consultant SIC code when working in IT as a contractor.
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 that hold securities. These companies hold securities, primarily those 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 managing other units of the company or enterprise. The head office will make business planning and decisions.

Change your official SIC code

When you own a limited company, you must find out how to change a SIC code on Companies House if the need arises. However, how do you do this? This guide will examine how to change or amend your official code.

Contact Companies House & change your SIC code

During your business’s lifetime, you may, at some point, want to know how to change the SIC code at Companies House. When you do this, you’ll look at how to change the nature of business (Companies House). In addition, some of the reasons why you should amend your code could be:

  • Your business now has a different main activity. It may also now be in another industry.
  • You picked the wrong code when setting up your company. This is possible 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 want to add a new code from the official SIC code list.

How can I change SIC code at Companies House?

If you’re investigating how to change your company SIC code or looking at how to update your 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 basic company information, including your SIC code(s). If you’re looking into changing the SIC code (Companies House) immediately, you can file a Confirmation Statement early.

How to add an SIC code on Companies House?

You may have started a new activity or trade when you’re in business. Therefore, you should add another SIC code at Companies House. However, if this is only a minor part of your business activities, there’s no 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 should add the relevant SIC code to your company record. Once again, you can add a new SIC code when filing a Confirmation Statement.

File another Confirmation Statement

If you’ve already filed your Confirmation Statement, paid the £34 fee, and now realise your code requires updating, you can file another statement with Companies House. They’ll not charge the £34 fee again. However, that’s if the statement is filed within twelve months before the following Confirmation Statement is due.

Is there a penalty for the wrong SIC code?

What if I have the wrong SIC code or codes?

Will I receive a penalty for an incorrect code even if I thought this was correct? If so, how much is the penalty for the wrong SIC code? Indeed, if you have 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.

How to correct an incorrect code?

It’s best practice to ensure your Companies House SIC codes or code is correct or as accurate as possible. Careless mistakes can draw attention from the authorities; however, you’ll not receive a penalty for an incorrect code.

As mentioned above, you must file a Confirmation Statement to change your code. If you require some help, please speak to your accountant.

More thoughts

How can you search companies by SIC code (UK) through the Companies House database?

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

Other Companies House guides

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

Final thoughts

Finally, Companies House should have your correct UK SIC code on record. As a UK contracting professional, if your Companies House SIC codes or code is incorrect, you should look to correct it. You can do this by looking for the nature of your business (Companies House) on their standard list. As mentioned, having an incorrect business SIC code (Companies House) is not an offence. 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 if you can’t find the code(s) that fit your type of work. If you later find out you have an incorrect code, you should change it so it’s correct for the future. In summary, 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, 2024 / Categories: Running Your Own Company /

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