SIC Codes - Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes

What is a SIC Code ?

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are four digit numerical codes assigned by the U.S. government to business establishments to identify the primary business of the establishment. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is a system for classifying industries by a four-digit code. Established in the United States in 1937, it is used by government agencies to classify industry areas. The classification was developed to facilitate the collection, presentation and analysis of data; and to promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation of statistical data collected by various agencies of the federal government, state agencies and private organizations. The classification covers all economic activities.

The SIC system arrays the economy into 11 divisions, that are divided into 83 2-digit major groups, that are further subdivided into 416 3-digit industry groups, and finally disaggregated into 1,005 4-digit industries. In the United States the SIC code is being supplanted by the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS code), which was released in 1997; however certain government departments and agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), still use the SIC codes.

The SIC system is also used by agencies in other countries, e.g., by the United Kingdom's Companies House.

SIC Code Title
52-59 Retail Trade
52 Building Matrials, Hrdwr, Garden Supply & Mobile Home Dealrs
53 General Merchandise Stores
54 Food Stores
55 Automotive Dealers and Gasoline Service Stations
56 Apparel and Accessory Stores
57 Home Furniture, Furnishings and Equipment Stores
58 Eating and Drinking Places
59 Miscellaneous Retail
 

What are SIC Codes used for?

  • The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) uses SIC codes when sorting company filings.
  • Companies that operate in a certain industry use a specific SIC code when filing with the SEC so that the type of business is properly identified.
  • Identifying government contracts by their SIC description.
  • To facilitate the collection, presentation, and analysis of data.
  • To promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation of statistical data collected by various agencies of the federal government, state agencies, and private organizations.

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Why are SIC Codes important?

  • Your SIC code is often asked for on various applications and forms.
  • SIC Codes organize industries utilizing a numerical system that defines a business according to its highest revenue source at a particular location.
  • SIC Codes allow the gathering and analysis of data quickly and efficiently.
  • By identifying your company’s SIC Code, eligibility for government contracts may be realized.
  • To identify competitors, public and private.

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How to Read a SIC Code ?

For Example :

Division 20-39 Manufacturing
Major Group 25 Furniture and Fixtures
Industry Group 25 Office Furniture
Industry 2521 Wood Office Furniture

The first two digits of the code identify the major industry group, the third digit identifies the industry group and the fourth digit identifies the industry.

( Note: The digit "9" is used in the third or fourth digit position of the classification code to designate miscellaneous industries not elsewhere classified (NEC). These miscellaneous classifications are not comprised of homogeneous primary activity groups. They are grouped together and treated as a separate industry in order to retain the homogeneity of the other industries in the group. )