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Please scroll down past the FAQ section on this page.
What are SIC codes?
The UK Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities, abbreviated as UK SIC, are five-digit standard industrial classification codes.
They are essentially a framework used by government agencies for collecting and presenting an extensive range of statistical data according to economic activity.
The UK SIC code system was last updated in 2007 to reflect the changing nature of the UK economy and the rapid rise of new and emerging industries.
There are now over 1,000 different SIC codes containing different types of traditional businesses and emerging industries.
SIC codes in the UK are primarily used by government agencies like Companies House and the Office of National Statistics.
They are used to monitor which areas of the economy business establishments are growing and which are in decline.
The use of SIC codes to record the activities of business establishments however has fallen out of favour with mailing list owners.
In comparison to the modern descriptive classifications, SIC codes seem somewhat vague.
Some of the splits between different activities do not seem as natural.
More Than Words note – for examples of how we can break down our mailing lists other than using SIC codes, please click for our industry sectors lists or for alphabetical B2B data lists.
Current economic and standard industrial classification codes
How do B2B marketers use SIC codes?
B2B marketers use SIC codes in the same way they use the more modern standard industrial classification.
They select the types of companies they wish to market to based upon those they believe to have the greatest need for their products and services.
When purchasing marketing databases from list owner and brokers, B2B clients look to eliminate as much “redundancy” as possible.
In direct marketing terms, “redundancy” means businesses or people you contact who would never have any interest in what you sell.
Money is also saved in the execution of those campaigns (lower email transmission costs, lower postal costs, fewer telemarketing calls made and so on).
What is the SIC code system for marketing?
SIC codes offer businesses a highly-focused, specific way to target potential customers.
The more precise your targeting, the better you are able to manage your time and resources.
The SIC system for marketing:
- Match SIC codes to the contacts on your existing marketing database
- Analyse your results to find the SIC codes which incorporate the greatest number of your customers. (if you are a more established business, you could also break this down to the primary sic code containing your best and most loyal customers)
- Use this data to target similar companies, classified in the same SIC codes identified in step 2.
More Than Words can provide you with a database made up of high-level buyers and decision makers within the primary SIC code or SIC codes of your choosing.
UK Companies House SIC Codes by group and classification
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 01-03 – Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
Everything to do with growing and raising crops, commercial equipment, breeding and harvesting animals, and other activities related to farming or natural habitats are included in this section. Oil and gas field services related to the development of oil and natural gas are also included.
Click to view our list of farmers’ email addresses using business descriptive classifications.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 05-09 – Mining and Quarrying
Mining and quarrying include digging for minerals such as coal and ores and treatment of petroleum products (excluding petrochemicals manufacture). This also includes production of gas field machinery and extracting natural gas.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 10-33 – Manufacturing
Manufacturing includes the physical or chemical transformation of materials, substances, peripheral equipment or components into new products.
It can include pharmaceutical preparations, surgical appliances and hospital equipment.
This section also includes substantial repairs, alterations, and reconstruction of goods, as well as installation of commercial machinery such as accounting machines, materials handling machinery (such as metalworking machinery) and other construction materials.
Click to view our list of manufacturing companies in the UK using business descriptive classifications.
Click to view our list of manufacturers and suppliers in the UK using business descriptive classifications.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 35 – 39 – Public utilities
Electricity, gas, steam, hot water and the like are included in this section, as well as the provision of electricity, gas, steam, hot water heating equipment, peripheral equipment etc – from both large and small power producers.
The management of waste (including collection, treatment, and disposal) covers solid and non-solid household or industrial waste as well as contaminated sites. The output of the waste or sewage treatment process is also included here.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 41 – 43 – Construction
Construction activities covered in this section include general and specialized construction for buildings and civil engineering works, such as new construction, repairs, additions, and alterations.
General construction includes specialised stores such as those selling structural metal products and structural wood members.
This section also includes the repair of buildings as well as civil engineering works, bringing together financial, technical, and physical means to realize building projects.
This activity, if performed not for the future sale of construction projects, but to operate them (e.g. renting office space), would not be classified here, but according to its operational activity, e.g. real estate, manufacturing, etc.
Click to view our list of construction companies in the UK using business descriptive classifications.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 45 – 47 – Wholesale and Retail Trade
The wholesale and retail sale of any type of good falls under this section, as does the provision of services related to the sale of goods.
Wholesaling and retailing are the final steps in the distribution of goods. Also included here are constructions of motor vehicle parts, passenger car bodies and repairs of motor vehicles and motorcycles. Finally, auxiliary equipment for use with machines for working textiles is included here.
Click to view our list of retailers using descriptive business classifications.
Looking for SIC codes for sports shops? The closest SIC code is 5091
Looking for SIC codes for butchers? The correct UK SIC code is 47720
Looking for SIC codes for health food shops? There is no exact match so the closest SIC code for this is 47290
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 49 – 53 – Transport and storage
The provision of rail, pipeline, road, water or air transportation, whether scheduled or unscheduled, as well as related activities such as terminals and parking garages, cargo handling, airport terminal services, and storage.
Renting transport equipment with an operator or driver falls under this section. Postal activities and courier services are also included.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 55 – 56 – Accommodation and Food Services
The provision of accommodation for visitors and other travellers as well as complete meals and drinks suitable for immediate consumption are included in this section.
Long-term residences are not included in this section. Also excluded from the definition is the preparation of food or drinks that are not suitable for immediate consumption as well as those that are sold through independent distribution channels, such as wholesale or retail trade.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 58 – 63 – Information and Communication
This section covers the production and distribution of information and cultural products, the provision of the means to transmit or distribute these products, data processing, hosting and related activities; web portals and other information services as well as other message communications.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 64 – 68 – Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
Activities to support financial services are included in this section, including insurance, reinsurance, and pension funding activities.
In addition to these activities, this section includes the activities of holding assets, such as those of holding companies and trusts, funds, and similar entities.
Lessors, agents, or commodity brokers can be found here if they provide any of the following real estate services: real estate investment, regulating residential real estate, appraising real estate, and real estate property managers.
It also includes building structures and maintaining ownership of such structures.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 69 – 75 – Professional, Scientific and Technical
This section includes specialised professional, scientific and technical activities. These activities require a high degree of training and give users access to specialized knowledge and skills, and include:
- Activities related to legal and accounting
- Activities of head offices; management consultancy activities
- Engineering and architectural testing and analysis
- Scientific research and development
- Advertising and market research
- Other professional, scientific and technical activities
- Veterinary services
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 77 – 84 – Administrative and Services
A variety of activities are included in this section that support general business operations. Different from the activities listed in section M, these activities do not have the primary objective of transferring specialized knowledge.
- Rental and leasing activities
- Activities of collection agencies and credit bureaus
- Employment activities
- Travel agency, tour operator and other reservation service and related activities
- Security and investigation activities
- Services to buildings and landscape activities
- Office administrative, office support and other business support activities
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 85 – Education
Governing activities, usually performed by public administration, are included in this section.
In addition to the enactment and judicial interpretation of laws and regulations, the administration of programs based on these laws, taxation, public order and safety, immigration services, foreign affairs, and the administration of government programs fall within this sector.
Social security activities are also included in this section.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 86-88 – Health and Social
Social work activities, health and allied services are included in this section.
There is a wide range of operations within this field, from health care provided by medical professionals in hospitals and other facilities, and medical instruments to residential care that involves some level of health care to social work activities that are not health care related.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 90-93 – Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
Included in this section are a number of activities catering to the cultural, recreational and entertainment interests of the general public, such as live performances, operation of museums, gambling, sports and recreation activities.
You may find commercial art products here, or under section G.
UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC Code Group 94-99 – Other
As a residual category, this section includes the activities of membership organizations, the repair of computers and household goods, as well as a range of service activities not covered elsewhere in this classification.
Can you target specific buyers using your SIC codes list?
Yes. For all companies we have a senior contact but we also have the contact details for hundreds of thousands of decision makers.
We offer the following lists:
How can the data you hold on business establishments be used?
Once they’ve chosen the targets they wish to communicate with, our clients typically use their UK business database in one (or more) of three ways:
- B2B email database – email marketing campaigns return most investment per pound spent on them than any other type of online or offline marketing
- B2B telemarketing database – telemarketing remains a popular choice for B2B marketing because it opens a two-way, productive dialogue between you and your target audience.
- Business to business mailing list – although mail volumes have dropped in the last two decades, it still generates high quality responses from B2B audiences.
What if someone wants to use the SIC system but they don’t have the staff or infrastructure to carry out campaigns?
Many B2B marketing specialists offer managed B2B email marketing campaigns and managed B2B telemarketing campaigns for clients in these circumstances.
Order B2B business data from our UK SIC codes database