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The Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) is a five-digit code that the Singaporean government uses to identify and categorise business activities in the country. Registering an SSIC code for your company is one of the most important steps in starting and operating your business.
In this article, we discuss why the SSIC code is so important, how to find your company’s code, how to change it, and what to do if you registered the wrong code for your company.
Why Are SSIC Codes So Important?
There are three key reasons why SSIC codes are important to both businesses and the government. Firstly, they enable the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) to notify you if your business qualifies for various tax incentives, grants, or other government aid programs.
Secondly, SSIC codes help you determine if you need business licenses for regulated business activities. For example, if you are a restaurant, do imports and exports, or handle certain dangerous chemicals, you might need a license so that the government can verify that you are safely operating your business. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will notify you of any relevant licenses that your business requires.
Thirdly, SSIC codes help the Department of Statistics create databases, surveys, statistical forecasts, and reports about the Singaporean economy. This allows it to study trends in the economy and track the state of each industry.
How Do I Find My Company’s SSIC Code?
You can search for your company’s SSIC code by visiting the BizFile+ SSIC Search tool.Enter the keyword(s) that best describes your business’s activities. For example, if you own a shoe store, then enter “shoes” or “footwear” in the search bar. The database will list all the SSIC codes and their descriptions that best match your keyword search.
If you want to learn more about how SSIC codes are determined, please refer to the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification SSIC 2020 report.
How Do I Change My Company’s SSIC Code?
First, we recommend that your company’s directors call a board meeting and authorise the change in the SSIC code through a directors’ resolution. A directors' resolution is then required because it is a formal decision that may have an impact on the company. This is a document consisting of resolutions, requiring the majority votes in favour from the board of directors’ to pass.
Once the board has signed the resolution, you or your appointed corporate service provider must file these changes with ACRA through the ACRA BizFile portal. Once you have completed that step, the changes will be immediately registered.
If you change your SSIC code, it means that the nature of your company’s primary economic activities has changed significantly. The Companies Act mandates companies to notify ACRA of these changes as soon as possible. Failure to do so and failure to change your SSIC code on time could make you liable for a fine of up to SGD$5,000. Your company and its directors could also be liable for other penalties.
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