Every company in the UK must choose a SIC code when filing their first annual return. As we wrote in a blog last year SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification and is a way of identifying the nature of a business. The Office of National Statistics and businesses in the financial services industry, among others, use SIC codes to power statistics and industry analysis.
In our previous piece we lamented that the SIC standard in use then, SIC 2003, was wholly inadequate for its purpose with many vague industry descriptions based on outdated processes rather than types of activity.
A new standard, SIC 2007 was created, that did away with many of the ineffective SIC codes and introduced over 100 new categories to cater for modern business activities, even if online related businesses still get left with categories such as ‘Web Portals’. SIC 2007 finally came into force from the 1st October 2011, so any annual returns filed from then on must adhere to the SIC 2007 regime.
So how do you pick a SIC code? Companies House does not select or evaluate the SIC code you choose, rather it is up to you to determine the best code or codes (you can choose more than one) that best match your principal business activities.
As mentioned, upon submitting your 1st annual return you must choose a SIC code, and then maintain or update this every following year.
To select a SIC code please see the full SIC 2007 list.
If you are a business currently on the SIC 2003 standard you can go here to view the SIC Conversion Table.