What are SIC Codes (2007)?
SIC Codes are Standard Industrial Classification Codes. They are used to classify industries by giving them a five digit code. The code you choose will be available for everyone to see on the public record.
The codes are grouped into sections which all follow a common industry, for example within the "Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing" section you will find 40 different SIC codes ranging from "Growing of Rice" to "Raising of Poultry" and even "Marine Aquaculture". Some versions of the lists will include the section headings and others will not. If you are using a list that doesn't have the headings in, then just remember that there are sections, so you don't have to read the entire list, just look for activities which are close to what you are doing and then look through the codes until you find one that represents what you do. Bear in mind that it may not be exact, but it should be as close as possible.
This practice (and system) was first developed in the United States in 1937 and is now used by government agencies in other countries in order to monitor what industry types are developing.
The original set of codes came into use in the UK in 1948, with the current form (2007) being adopted in January 2008.
Companies House, with the agreement of the Office of National Statistics (ONS), uses a condensed version of the full list of codes available from ONS. You should be using the codes made available on the condensed Companies House list. These are the ones that can be used in your application to become a limited company or on your Confirmation Statement.
When Do I Need My SIC Code?
You will need it when you form a new company (as of 30th June 2016) on form IN01 or via the online application available at Companies House, or a formation agent such as Company Wizard. If you do not include your code in the application then it will be rejected by Companies House.
You will need to include it in your first Confirmation Statement (CS01), but after that, you will only need to report it if it has changed. This can be the case if your company has expanded into different sectors, or if you found that your way of working wasn't quite right.
If your company was formed before 30th June 2016 and you have not yet filed your Confirmation Statement (previously an Annual Return AR01), then you will need to include your SIC code. But again, only for the first time.
Where can I find my SIC Code?
You have to choose the one that is right for your company. You are able to have more than one if you feel you need to, but you need to have at least one. You can find the condensed version of the list here.
For more information on SIC codes, take a look at the Gov UK website.