Before setting up your software development agency and finding new clients, you will need to incorporate your business. During the company incorporation process on Companies House, you will need to provide your company’s SIC code based on the nature of your business and consulting services. There are over 600 SIC codes to choose from which can be overwhelming if your expertise is in computer software development as opposed to company formations. This article explains what a SIC code is and how to choose one for your new information technology agency.
What are standard industrial classifications?
A Standard industrial classification code (SIC code) is a five-digit code which describes a company’s economic activities and business services. These codes help the Office for National Statistics (ONS) track the state and growth of UK companies. The condensed SIC code list maintained by Companies House is available on the gov.uk website. A limited company can have multiple SIC codes. Dormant companies and non-trading companies are also required to have a SIC code. Your company’s SIC code can also be converted to a NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) if ever your business activities expand to North America.
Software development consultancy agencies can have multiple SIC codes if they have multiple business activities. SIC codes can also be updated via a confirmation statement if ever the business’ activities evolve.
What is the SIC code for business and domestic software development?
If your software development agency is writing, modifying, testing and supporting software then it can be classes under business and domestic software development 62012. For example, this can include agencies which design and implement systems software, software applications, databases and web pages for clients.
What is the SIC code for information technology consultancy activities?
Agencies which plan and design computer systems which integrate computer hardware, software and communication technologies and provide user trading can be classed under information technology consultancy activities 62020.
What is the SIC code for computer facilities management activities?
Technologies agencies which support the on-site management and operation of clients' computer systems and/or data processing facilities fall under computer facilities management activities 62030.
What is the SIC code for other information technology service activities?
Agencies which conduct other information technology and computer related activities not elsewhere classified, such as computer disaster recovery services, installation services (setting-up) of personal computers or other software installation services can fall under other information technology service activities 62090.
What is the SIC code for data processing, hosting, and related activities?
Agencies which provide infrastructure for hosting, data processing services and related activities fall under data processing, hosting, and related activities 63110.
How to change your SIC code?
If you realise that your company's SIC code is wrong after you set up your company, or your main business activities change after the company formation process you should look into having this updated.
Implications of using the wrong SIC code
Having the wrong SIC code does not incur any penalties from the government however it will be factually incorrect and may cause unforeseeable problems down the line therefore it's better to have your SIC code updated with companies house.
Why you should keep information up to date
Keeping your information updated will ensure that anyone wishing to do business with your company has the most up-to-date information possible. If a stakeholder looks up your business on companies house and the SIC code is incorrect, it can lead to confusion about you business. This can lead to lost business or even raise suspicion with authorities.
Changing your SIC code
If you provided the incorrect code when you registered your business or if your primary business activities changed after company creation, you can clarify your new SIC code when you next submit a confirmation statement to companies house. If you urgently need to update your SIC code, you can submit a confirmation statement early.
It is a legal requirement to file an annual confirmation statement (previously known as an annual return) every 12 months. The statment confirms whether information such as the office address, company directors, company's SIC code, share capital and shareholders is correct.
Filling your confirmation statement with companies house
You can file a confirmation statement on companies house if your private company has one shareholder, between 1 and 5 officers and less than 5 persons with significant control (PSC). Otherwise you will have to use the Webfiling service.
The fee to submit a confirmation statement is £13.
Once you have chosen a SIC code for your business and finalised the incorporation process, you will need to generate legal contracts to structure your business activities. Creating lawyer-approved agreements can be costly and it can be tempting to download free templates online. However, this process is risky and unnecessary thanks to contract management platforms like Legislate.
Legislate is a contract management platform that empowers businesses to take control of their legal agreements. Our platform allows you to create bespoke contracts tailored to your specific needs, all without breaking the bank. With Legislate, you can also sign, and manage contracts electronically, making the process more efficient and allowing you to make informed decisions faster. Book a demo or sign up today to put the confidence back into contracting.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.