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SIC Codes And Funding: Getting It Right

15th November 2018

Whether you’re aware of them or not, when it comes to getting the correct SIC (Standard Industry Classification) code, there’s often more than just a few things to consider. But searching through a SIC code list doesn’t have to be a headache, here at PNG Formations we guide all of our clients through the sometimes lengthy process, ironing out any questions they might have along the way.

What Is a SIC Code?

If you are new to the idea, a SIC code is a five digit code assigned to your business to help identify the primary activities and purpose of your company. The process involves first identifying your industry and industry group, before selecting the appropriate code to correlate with that description. It is this information that then shows itself in the SIC code selected, they represent the major industry group, industry group and the industry itself. There really is method to the madness.

Once you’ve got your head around what they are, the next question many people ask is ‘where can I find my SIC code?’ If you’re not sure where to go about finding a SIC code for a company, you might turn to the internet where you’ll discover a plethora of sources detailing SIC codes for businesses.  But if time is not on your side, at PNG Formations we have pulled together a fully comprehensive UK SIC code list. Here, all of the available SIC codes are listed, detailed and easily searchable, helping you to clearly identify the correct code for you.

SIC Codes for Funding

Searching through a SIC code list and identifying a business SIC code is something that every business owner has to do when starting up and is more often that not,  left for years without so much as a second thought. But businesses by nature are constantly evolving and changing to meet demand and competition, and with it, so should their SIC code. This isnt always the case, and whilst it may not be at the top of some agendas, getting it wrong could be coming between you and your next funding stream.

If like many UK businesses you’re almost continuously on the lookout for your next source of income, you might find yourself too caught up in the midst of funding applications to think about the role your SIC code has to play.

Whilst it’s commonly thought that those most interested in your business’ SIC code are Companies House and other governmental bodies, it is also of great interest to banks, lenders and business credit bureaus and insurance companies.  Your SIC code will be used by HMRC to compare your tax returns with those of comparable businesses, if you don’t fit the bill with other businesses in your industry you could be called in for an audit. It has also been seen that some businesses, particularly small ones, can be automatically turned down for funding if their SIC code is incorrect. In some cases a business’ credit files can even be left with reduced credit recommendations and higher premiums as a result.

In terms of credit building purposes there a handful of areas considered ‘high risk’ which could mean you’ll need to pay a little more attention to the assigning of a SIC code. These include areas such as money lending, car sales and the travel industry. In general anything that in nature involves ‘investing’ will likely be included here, but you can take steps to avoid gaining that high risk label.

To exemplify, a business owner looking to start up in the world of real estate, would be wise in this instance to avoid classifying their business with the term ‘investment’. Instead, it could pay to include areas such as ‘business consulting’ or ‘business management’ into the business code in order to help avoid the high risk labelling that comes with the term ‘investment’.

Do I Have The Correct SIC Code?

Needless to say there are a lot of businesses out there competing for funding, get your SIC code wrong and it could lead to your business mistakenly being identified as high risk when maybe it needn't be. It really is more important than ever to get your SIC code right, and you can chose up to four to best describe your business. If your business has recently developed and think you might need a new SIC code please see our article for more information.

At PNG Formations we help assist our new clients select the right SIC codes for their business. For our already established business clients, we ensure to keep them up to date which any changes in the SIC code list and assist them in changing it. If you are due to file your annual confirmation statement or want to change your SIC code, you can contact one of our experts at PNG Formations here today.

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