Before you incorporate a business in Singapore, you first need to register a business name. When you do this, you also have to specify your business activity – you can input a primary and secondary business activity.
The categorisation of business activities in Singapore is dictated by the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) Code. This will provide up to a 5-digit code to categorise the sub-class of your business activity.
When you input your primary business activity, it is sent to relevant referral authorities in Singapore to approve. For example, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) will look at SSIC Codes 68201 and 68209.
On the other hand, the Monetary Authority of Singapore looks at banks, finance companies and exchanges.
Other referral authorities include Enterprise Singapore (ESG), MCCY – Charities Unit, Mindef – Defence Industry & Systems Office, Professional Engineers Board, Singapore Tourism Board, and more.
What Is My Company’s SSIC Code?
Your SSIC Code should correspond to your business activity (or activities if you have a secondary business activity). Businesses should ensure that your SSIC Code is accurate and reflects your business activities.
To check your SSIC Code, you can use the BizFile+ SSIC Search tool.
For reference, you can find the full list of SSIC Codes in the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification 2020 report – detailing the latest updates and list of SSIC Codes currently in use.
What Is The SSIC Code Used For?
Your SSIC Code is a set of numbers used to classify your business activities. Managed by the Department of Statistics (DOS), this makes it easier for the Singapore government to compile and analyse a wide range of economic statistics. This allows the government to better understand how businesses in specific categories are performing.
Apart from this, there are several other uses for your SSIC Code.
Apply For Relevant Licences
When you first list your business activity, or SSIC Code, you will also better understand the licences you have to apply for. For example, you will need to apply for an employment agency licence, if your primary activities require:
Receive Government Incentives And Grants
In the past two years, many government measures and support schemes take into account your business activity. This makes it more pertinent for you to ensure that your SSIC Code is kept up-to-date with your primary business, as it may affect your business classification and eligibility for grant support.
For example, during the latest round of tightening safe management measures, certain businesses such as F&B establishments, gyms and fitness studios and other have been affected. You can check on the GoBusiness Gov Assist website, to see the list of businesses currently allowed to resume operations. This will correspond to your SSIC Code. On the website, you can also check for the licences that you need to apply for, based on your business classification.
Another way SSIC Codes are being used is to easily segment groups of businesses that require greater support as safe management measures are tightened and eased.
For example, an operating grant providing $5,000 to $100,000 is support under the Sports Resilience Package is being disbursed to gyms and fitness studios under SSIC Code 93111, while businesses under different SSIC Codes, such as 85410, 93119 and 93120 can apply for assessment to qualify.
Similarly, with the recent measures to stop dine-in activities for the food and beverage sector from 16 May to 13 June 2021, the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) has been enhanced for the sector. This will be provided to F&B establishments under the SSIC Codes 56 or 68104.
There are many other instances of sector specific grants such as the Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB), Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), and others that will also be disbursed according to your SSIC Code.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) may also make use of the SSIC to provide tax incentives.
How To Change Your SSIC Code?
For the reasons listed above, keeping your SSIC Code updated is necessary.
For starters, the SSIC Code underwent major changes in 2020. This is one reason to check your current SSIC Code to ensure it is still relevant. Over the years, your business may have also evolved from the day you first incorporated the company. This is another reason to ensure that your SSIC Code are up-to-date.
Businesses can log in to ACRA – www.bizfile.gov.sg – to change their business activity at any point after incorporation. By changing your business activity, you will be changing your SSIC Code.
You can choose to change only your primary SSIC Code, secondary SSIC Code or both. When doing so, you also need to input the “Effective date of change”.
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