What is a SIC code?

A Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code describes what a business does.

SIC codes are split into trade groups - e.g. manufacturing, education, accommodation and food service activities etc - and within each group more specific individual codes are assigned to businesses depending on what they do. They are publicly available and are used by Government bodies like Companies House and the Office for National Statistics to provide an overview of the activities undertaken by UK companies.

When do I need a SIC code?

The fact that your company even has a SIC code might well be a surprise to you. It's not a piece of information which most businesses have to think about on a regular basis.

However you will need at least one SIC code when forming your company to describe the company's planned business activity. If you've already got your company though you will need your SIC code when you file your next confirmation statement. Any changes to SIC codes need only be reported at the company's next confirmation statement. You don't have to make an immediate submission to Companies House when the change occurs.

What is my company's SIC code?

Most business owners don’t know their SIC code. If you're forming your new company you can use the Companies House list to find it or if you start your company with Lightwork Business we provide a really simple keyword search tool to let you easily find the SIC code or codes that best describe what your business will do. Existing companies may already have notified a SIC code in a previous confirmation statement filing to Companies House and therefore can check what was included in it.

The vast majority of companies select a single SIC code which they feel describes the nature of their business. However, you can choose up to four SIC codes, so if your business is particularly complex, or a single code can’t on its own describe what the company does, you can choose to include more than one.


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