The SIC code with Companies House

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Introduction -SIC code (Companies House)

What are UK Companies House SIC codes? We will look here at what is a SIC code for business, what is the sic code for IT consulting and how to find the Companies House SIC codes (or code) for your industry and trade.

Notably, the SIC code with Companies House is a code that represents the kind of business operated i.e., the activities of your business. Therefore, how do I find a company’s SIC code? Today, the Standard Industrial Classification system is in place, and this is a long list that gives each type of trade/business a SIC code. Each industrial category has hundreds of codes in the SIC code list, covering all kinds of business trades in all sectors.

This Standard Industrial Classification system is in use by Companies House, and it is there to identify the trade activity (s) of each company in the UK.

When you set up your own company, 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.

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

The latest list of Companies House industrial classification SIC codes 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).

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 company’s SIC code. The answer here is Companies House provide a standard industrial classification code list, and this is a comprehensive online record of SIC codes 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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-industrial-classification-of-economic-activities-sic

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

https://www.ons.gov.uk/methodology/classificationsandstandards/ukstandardindustrialclassificationofeconomicactivities/uksic2007

Frequent choices of Companies House SIC code for 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 for contractors

Some examples of the typical contractor SIC codes from the standard SIC code list that could apply to your business activity are:

  • 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.
  • 71129 – Other engineering activities (this encompasses various engineering-type specialties for contractors).
  • 74909 -Other professional, scientific and technical activities.
  • 82990 -Other business support services activities not elsewhere categorised.

Further still, you can find the codes for other Engineering activities at:

  • 71121 to 71129.

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.

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.

What if I need to change my 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 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 changing SIC code or looking at how to update SIC code at Companies House, you can do this 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 SIC code, and if you want to change your SIC code straight away, you can file a Confirmation Statement early.

How to add another SIC code on Companies House

When you are in business you may have started a new activity or trade. If this is only a minor part of your business activities you do not need to update your code. However, if this new trade is picking up and can be seen as one of your main activities you will need to add a new code at Companies House. Once again, the way to update this will be by filing a Companies House 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 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?

Please note, 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 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 Companies House guides

We have many other guides that help you navigate Companies House, showing how to report and make specific changes. We cover in our articles:

Final thoughts

Finally, Companies House should have your correct UK SIC code on record.

Moreover, 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 code to pick or cannot find the code that fits your work. If you have an incorrect code, you should change the SIC code to be 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

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Published On: August 1st, 2022 / Categories: Running Your Own Company /

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