What Is a SIC Business Code?

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021
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The complete process of company formation demands a complete filing system — with the vast amount of must-remember registration documents and numbers, it’s important that you’re aware of important company codes; notably, your SIC business code.

SIC Business Code

A SIC code is a Standard Industrial Classification code. First established in the US in the early 20thcentury, SIC business codes classify industries with a four-digit code. Companies House uses SIC business codes for the same purpose and the Office for National Statistics uses SIC business codes to gather important data.

SIC business codes define and categorise the activities of a company and are the result of an ongoing effort to create a comprehensive list of all existing types of businesses in the UK.

 How Are Trade Groups Classified?

Companies House website displays a condensed version of the full codes (as found at the Office for National Statistics). The SIC business codes are classified into trade groups and subsequently, full classifications are provided within every trade group.

For example: Codes under “Section A” fall under the trade description of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. Within this heading you will find trades such as “Growing of rice” (SIC business code: 01120) and “Plant propagation” (SIC business code: 01300).

 How to Retrieve Your SIC Business Code

It’s not uncommon to baffle entrepreneurs when they’re asked about their SIC code. To remain in the know and learned about your trade and SIC business code, you can follow the simple method of retrieving your SIC business code by running a search on Companies House website (follow link of “condensed version of the full address” above). It contains the latest version of codes (SIC 2007).

You have to use the corresponding code from the condensed list on your annual confirmation statement. If your company is using an earlier SIC business code from the previous 2003 version of codes, you’ll need to search the SIC Conversion Table to locate the 2007 version. You must provide the new code on your next confirmation statement. Find out more about your confirmation statement and Companies House requirements here.

How to Change Your SIC Business Code

Your SIC business code can be amended if your main business and trading activities change. All you have to do is locate the relevant SIC business code from the condensed list from Companies House (or the Conversion Table if your code precedes the 2007 list). Again, once retrieved from Companies House, you must add it on your next confirmation statement.

 When Would You Need SIC Business Code?

Since they’re not one of the most “in-demand” business numbers, many business owners may not consider the importance of the SIC business code. However, SIC business codes possess some significant applications and uses; most of which arise in the course of the Annual Return filing process.The SIC business code must be inputted in the relevant section when  filing your annual return with Companies House.

 The Difference Between SIC 2003 and SIC 2007

The SIC business code system was modified in January 2008 in order to create a comprehensive and ever-growing list of businesses. The 2007 version is required for any company formed on/after October 1st 2011.

The most tangible distinction is that the SIC 2003 codes consist of four digits, while the 2007 codes have five digits. You can utilise the conversion table on the Companies House site to assist you locating the relevant 2007 version.


You should only use codes on the condensed SIC code list when filing to Companies House to prevent your filing from being rejected. Whether you have a dormant company (99999) or you’re a non-trading entity (74990), you must still provide the appropriate SIC code.

However, there is no significant implication if you fail to input the relevant SIC business code. All you’ll have to do is simply change the code on the following confirmation statement, or change the code immediately on you statement early.

If you want help with your SIC code, contact our professional and experienced company formations team, for a fast, friendly, and comprehensive service.

Article by

Jody Smith

A content and media expert, I have worked for 7 years alongside start-ups and small businesses to effectively promote their brands through blogs, social media and content marketing strategies.

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