What is an SSIC code?

First, SSIC is an acronym for Singapore’s Standard Industrial Classification. A Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code is a number assigned to classify a person’s business activities that are conducted in Singapore. As such, the SSIC code is a 5-digit code created by the government to track and categorize the business activities of companies in Singapore.
When necessary, the SSICs are revised to ensure that they reflect and remain current in the areas listed below:

➤ Alignment with evolving international standards
➤ Update on significant changes in the economy
➤ Update on emerging activities

For example, the SSIC is used for a population, household, and establishment censuses. In addition, the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification adopts the framework and basic principles of the International Standard Industrial Classification of all economic activities.

Who needs an SSIC code?

Every company needs an SSIC code to register in Singapore.

What is the purpose of the SSIC code?

Firstly, your Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code is a set of numbers used to classify your business activities. Managed by the Department of Statistics, it allows the Singapore government to analyze a wide range of economic statistics more easily. Therefore, it allows the government to better understand the performance of businesses in specific categories.

Secondly, an SSIC code helps the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority determine whether the company needs to apply for licenses to operate. Some SSIC codes also help determine whether a company is eligible for certain tax benefits from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. In general, the purpose of an SSIC code is to enable the government to monitor the business activity of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

How do I find your SSIC code?

First, anyone who is interested can search to find out which codes correspond to their professional activities. Therefore, to search for an SSIC code, you must go to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority website.

Then, when choosing the SSIC code associated with your company’s core business, it is best to choose a code that reflects the activities for which you are applying for a license. For example, if your company is a financial holding company, it would be wise to choose SSIC code 64201. This will allow you to apply for the license needed to operate within Singapore’s borders.

Moreover, it is easy to find your SSIC code since the government makes the complete list available online. Therefore, to find your code, you must first visit the Singapore online portal through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. In the second step, you need to enter your company’s business activities in the search field. Then, you need to find the result that best matches your business. Finally, if the description is too general, you can give more details about the type of business your company is doing during the incorporation process.

Finally, as you can see, it is quite easy to find your SSIC code. However, there are two things you must consider regarding SSIC codes. On the one hand, the codes will be sent to the reference authority. Indeed, during the name reservation stage, if the company were to choose a name or selected SSIC codes that require review and approval from the referral authorities (e.g., Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Law, Enterprise Singapore, Real Estate Board), the application will be sent to the respective authorities and the processing time may take anywhere between 14 and 60 days. On the other hand, after incorporation, if your SSIC code suggests that you will engage in certain business activities, you must apply for the relevant licenses before you can operate the company.

What are SSIC codes in Singapore?

How to determine the correct SSIC code for your new company in Singapore?

Firstly, the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code for your new company’s business must be filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority at the time of booking the company name. You must submit at least one SSIC code to represent your company’s business activities, and possibly an additional optional SSIC code. If your business activity is particularly unique and no SSIC code matches it, you may enter a custom description, which will be reflected in the company’s BizFile.

Secondly, the SSIC code should reflect the economic activities of your business. An economic activity occurs when resources such as labor, capital, goods, and services are used in a production process to produce goods and services. The economic activities of a business can be divided into three types:

1. Primary activity refers to an activity that contributes most to the value-added of the goods and services produced by the company, or the highest value-added activity among the company’s activities.

2. Secondary activity refers to an activity that is not the main activity of the company, but which is carried out by the company.

3. Auxiliary activity refers to an activity undertaken to support the main productive activities by providing goods or services entirely for internal use.

Finally, the basic principle of the SSIC is that an enterprise is assigned an SSIC code according to its main activity. In cases where a company has more than two principal business activities, the two activities with the highest revenue must be listed with the Accounting Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Is a company limited to a maximum number of SSIC codes in Singapore?

A company can have a maximum of two SSIC codes. As the Accounting Corporate Regulatory Authority only allows two business activities per company, companies with multiple activities or revenue streams may find it difficult to be listed on Bizfile. In this case, you should choose the two activities that generate the most revenue.

The Accounting Corporate Regulatory Authority reviews your registration documents when you register a new company. Sometimes some documents are sent to other government agencies to make sure the information is accurate and complete. As a result, if you register for the wrong SSIC code, you may have to submit additional documents before your company’s registration is approved. Therefore, you should verify that there will be no delay in your company’s incorporation.

Is it possible to change the SSIC code?

Firstly, the SSIC code underwent major changes in 2020. This is one reason to check your current SSIC code to make sure it is still relevant. Over the years, your business may have also evolved since the day you incorporated it.

Secondly, companies can log in to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority to change their business activity at any time after incorporation. Therefore, by changing your business activity, you systematically change your SSIC code.

Finally, you have the option of changing only your primary SSIC, your secondary SSIC, or both. When doing so, you must also enter the effective date of the change.

What are the most used SSIC codes?

The SSIC classification has a hierarchical structure, with 21 major categories. A five-digit numerical coding system is used to distinguish between the different levels of classification.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes:

Category Code
Architectural Services 71111 for architectural services
Finance and Banking 64150 for investment banks and 64992 for representative offices of foreign banks
Real Estates 68201 for real estate agencies and appraisal services and 68209 for real estate activities on a fee or contract basis
Law and Legal 69100 for legal activities
Education 85211 for secondary schools and 85302 for universities
Commodity Trading 66124 for commodity brokers and dealers

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