What You Should Take Note of When Changing Your SSIC CodeDownload Now: FREE GST 2023 GuidebookDownload Now: FREE Employment Pass ChecklistDownload Now: Free Incorporation Checklist
Every company registered in Singapore has a Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) — most commonly known as an SSIC code. The code simply shows your company’s primary and secondary business activities to the government authorities and agencies like Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
You can have a maximum of two SSIC codes, though most companies focus on one. The SSIC uses the standard principles and framework of the ISIC — International Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities. The database of SSIC codes is routinely changed to reflect large changes in Singapore’s economy and the rise of new activities.
Over time, a business may decide to change its SSIC code, if the underlying nature of your economic activities has changed. With that in mind, we will explore some of the factors you should consider while changing your SSIC code at ACRA.
How Important is it to Have the Right SSIC Code?
Your company’s SSIC code is not just noted for statistical purposes and censuses conducted by the Singapore government. It can also affect your business in an assortment of ways.
Your specific SSIC code could determine whether you are required to obtain certain licenses to conduct your business legally. For instance, let’s say you register your business as a real estate agency — otherwise known as SSIC Code 68201.
In that case, you will also need approval from the CEA — Council for Estate Agencies before you can complete your company’s registration. And there are similar special conditions for many other SSIC codes.
Your SSIC code can also decide what financial support and grants your business is eligible to receive. The Job Support Scheme (JSS) is a great example of this. While deciding which businesses would receive what levels of JSS aid, the government mainly looked at the SSIC code list.
Also, it is worth taking into account that the government only looked at the first, primary SSIC code — so your primary business activities will always be the most important factor in these matters.
You cannot always predict what kind of an effect your chosen SSIC code will have on your business operations. For example, like many other governments around the world, Singapore restricted the movements and operations of many non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And when the government had to decide which company’s could have their workforce off-site, remote, and on-site, they primarily looked at their SSIC codes to determine the nature of their work.
Things to Take Note of When Changing the SSIC Code
If you do decide to change your SSIC code, you can do so by visiting the ACRA Bizfile+ Portal. There, you can choose to change your secondary SSIC code, primary SSIC code, or even both. However, bear in mind that your SSIC code can affect your daily business operations in numerous ways — some of which we have outlined above.
It is also important to note that before you will be able to change your SSIC code, you are required to draft a board resolution for the change of SSIC code. This is a decision that needs to be approved by the board of directors before changes can be lodged.
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