Change of principal business activity

You must inform Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs If you change your principal business activity.

Inform HMRC of your new principal business activity

You can report the change of principal business activity in your corporation tax return (CT600) and HMRC would pick up this information from your tax return. Usually, your company accounts accompany with your corporation tax return filing would also require to state the change in your trading activity.

Report change to Companies House

Every limited company must submit their confirmation statement to Companies House every year. You may take this filing opportunity to report your new trading activity with Companies House. You may report the change of your principal business activity by updating your SIC code. In other words, you choose the code that closely represents your current business activity. That’s it.

For example, say, your original principal activity was wholesale of flowers and plants, your SIC code would be 46220 then. Now, you are retailing flowers and plants and no longer wholesale, then your SIC code would be 47760.

You can report your new SIC code at the same time filing your confirmation statement with Companies House. You do not need to file the change separately like you would when there is a change in director appointment or change of registered office address.

Another document you must report your new principal activity is your company accounts. You must declare there is a change in principal business activity during the year in your director’s report page.

Check your company’s principal activity

You can check your principal business activity currently registered with Companies House. Companies House publish your company’s details for public inspection.

Just bought a ready made company

Things you must do when you just bought a ready made company from a company formation agent. A ready made company is a limited company incorporated by company formation agents for sale. Generally, people buy a ready made company because they either like the company name or the age of the company.

Preliminary check

Go to Companies House website to check the filing history of the ready-made company you would like to buy. To ensure that the company’s filing is up to date with Companies House and it has never traded since it’s incorporation.

Transfer company ownership and control

Usually, after you bought your ready made company, the company formation agent will transfer the company’s ownership and control to you. They would carry out the following to transfer the company’s ownership and control to you.

Appoint your director and company secretary

Generally, the company formation agent would ask you to provide details of at least one company director to them for your ready made company. They would submit the form AP01 to add a new director to your company. If the new director is you, after the appointment, you would be legally responsible for the company.

Thereafter, you can add more directors or a company secretary if you wish.

Terminate the existing director and company secretary

Subsequently, the company formation agent would terminate the existing director by submitting the form TM01 with Companies House. If there is a company secretary appointed, the appointment will be terminated too using the form TM02.

Shareholders information

Concurrently, you would also be required to give details of the person who will be holding your ready made company shares. Your director can also be the shareholder in this instance. The company formation agent would transfer the ownership of the existing shares to your shareholder. This would be done by filing a confirmation statement.

Company’s principal activity

Normally, a ready-made company’s is registered with a dormant company SIC code. You may let your company formation agent know what would be your company’s principal business activity so that they can update the SIC code for you. Alternatively, If the company formation agent did not change the SIC code, you can change it yourself afterwards. It is very easy to add and remove SIC code when completing your confirmation statement later on.

Registered office address

Let the company formation agent know if you are not going to use their registered office address and you have your own address. They would update the registered office address with Companies House for you.

The person with Significant Control (PSC)

You would be required to provide details of the person with significant control (PSC) of your ready-made company. The agent would submit the form PSC01 to register your PSC details with Companies House. At the same time, they would submit the form PSC07 to remove their PSC from your ready-made company.

Your Company authentication code

Do not forget to ask for your company authentication code from your agent. This code is important when comes to using Companies House web filing service to submit your confirmation statement, company accounts, appoint directors and so on.

Your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number

Also, ask your agent for the UTR number issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for your ready-made company. You need this UTR number when corresponding with HMRC every time.

SIC code

Your limited company must specify a SIC code when completing your Confirmation Statement for submission with Companies House. You must choose the SIC codes that closely match your company’s business activities.

What is SIC code?

SIC stands for The United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities. The SIC code is a pre-defined 5 digits numbers used in the categorisation of UK businesses’ trading activities. Companies House works closely with the Office of National Statistics to collect statistical trading data for governmental analysis purposes.

Your company’s business activities

Your limited company can have more than one business activities.
Select the SIC codes that closely match your business activities when filling in your Confirmation statement.

For example, you may two main business activities under your company. Say, interior design service and letting of your own property. Your codes can be 74100 for specialised design activities and 68209 for Other letting and operating of own or leased real estate.

New SIC code has 5 digits

Companies House will reject your Confirmation Statement if you use the outdated SIC codes. The latest version is called SIC code version 2007.

It is recommended to file your Confirmation statement online if possible because the SIC codes in the Companies House’s web filing service is the updated version of the codes.

For examples, a dormant company must use the SIC code of 99999 and for non-trading company, the code is 74990.

Old SIC codes have 4 digits

If you are looking at 4 digits SIC codes list then you know it is not the latest version codes.

Take the same examples above, a dormant company under the old code would have code read 9999 and the new code is 99999. For a non-trading company, the old code was 7499 and the new code is 74990.

Convert old SIC to new SIC code

Let say, your current business activity is buying and selling your own property for a profit. The code to use under the old code is 7012 for buying & sell own real estate.

When filing your confirmation statement using the 2007 version of SIC codes, you would choose the code 68100 with the description buying and selling of own real estate.

Another example for you. If your company was set up to manage a residential property, the old code was 9800 for residents property management and the new code is 98000 with the exact same description.

Describe your trading activity

Last but not least, if you are unable to find suitable SIC code that closely matches your principal business activity, you must provide a brief description of your trading activity in your Confirmation statement CS01 part 1 form.

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