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Understanding SSIC Codes: Why They Matter

26 Mar 2024  ·  Grof Writer
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Understanding SSIC Codes: Why They Matter
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What Are SSIC Codes and Why Do They Matter? 

If you’re considering starting a business in Lion City, it’s crucial to understand the basics of SSIC codes. The Singapore Standard Industrial Classification Code (SSIC) is a five-digit code used by the government to categorise business activities and monitor various industries in the economy. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the importance of SSIC codes, how to search for the correct code, and how to select one that aligns with your business activities. The SSIC code is a vital aspect for any Singapore company as it provides local authorities with information about the company’s primary source of revenue. It is used by the Singapore government to analyse economic activity and is also utilised in population, household, and industry censuses. 

Understanding SSIC Codes 

What is an SSIC Code? 

The SSIC code, also known as the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification, is a standardised system used by the government to classify and categorise business activities. This system is based on the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC), which is used globally to classify economic activities. 

Why are SSIC Codes Important? 

At first glance, obtaining a Singapore Standard Industrial Classification may seem like a trivial matter for business owners. However, the correct one holds tremendous importance for several reasons. Firstly, certain various business activities in Singapore are regulated and require licenses. The Singapore Standard Industrial Classification helps determine if your business operations fall under such activities and if you need to obtain the necessary licenses. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) automatically notifies you if your code indicates that your business requires a license. 

Secondly, the latest SSIC codes play a crucial role in determining if your business qualifies for tax incentives, grants, or other government aid programs, including tax benefits. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) utilises these codes to ascertain your eligibility for such programs, and specific tax benefits may apply to the company based on the SSIC code selected. Therefore, selecting the correct one can have significant implications for your business’s compliance and financial benefits. 

From the perspective of the Singaporean government, Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes are essential for monitoring trends in the economy, identifying growing and declining industries, and understanding international standards. The codes enable the Department of Statistics to create surveys, databases, reports, and statistical forecasts about the economy, facilitating informed decision-making and policy implementation. 

Looking to find the right SSIC code for your business in Singapore? Grof’s SSIC Code Checker is your go-to solution. This free tool makes the process of identifying the appropriate SSIC code for your business activities: 

Benefits of Using SSIC Codes for Businesses 

The utilisation of Singapore Standard Industrial Classification offers numerous benefits for businesses. One significant advantage is the ability to conduct market research and analysis. By using SSIC codes, businesses can access industry-specific data and gain insights into market trends, customer behaviour, and competitor analysis. This information is essential for developing effective marketing strategies, identifying new opportunities, and staying ahead in a competitive market. 

Additionally, Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes enable businesses to network and collaborate within their industry. By attending industry-specific events and conferences, companies can connect with like-minded professionals, potential clients, and partners. The common language provided by SSIC codes facilitates effective communication and understanding among industry players, fostering collaboration and innovation. 

Another advantage of using Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes is the ease of compliance with government regulations. Many government agencies require businesses to report their activities using Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes. By accurately categorising their operations, companies can ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and avoid penalties or legal issues. Furthermore, Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes help businesses access government grants and incentives that are specific to their industry, providing them with additional support and resources for growth. 

Selecting the Correct Singapore Standard Industrial Classification 

Choosing the appropriate one for your business can sometimes be challenging. It becomes especially complex when your company engages in multiple activities. However, understanding the definition of an economic activity is crucial to making the right selection. 

Types of Economic Activities 

Economic activities can be broadly categorised into three types: 

  1. Principal Activity: This refers to the activity that generates the highest value-added or revenue for your company. It is the primary focus of your business and should be reflected in your SSIC code. 
  2. Secondary Activity: While not the principal activity, a secondary activity is still occasionally performed by your company. However, when selecting an SSIC code, it is important to prioritise the principal economic activity. 
  3. Ancillary Activity: Ancillary activities are those that support the principal activity of your business but do not hold significant value in terms of revenue generation. These activities should not be the basis for selecting your SSIC code. 

How to Find Your SSIC Code? 

Finding the right Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) list for your business may seem daunting at first, but there are several resources available to help you navigate this process.  

The Singapore Department of Statistics offers an SSIC code lookup tool online, helping you find the right code through keywords or business activity descriptions. Additionally, business directories and industry associations can assist in identifying the correct SSIC code for your industry. The list is updated regularly to match economic and business activity changes, emphasising the importance of keeping your company’s SSIC code current with your business operations. 

Need to find your company’s SSIC code? Learn how by reading our latest blog post. 

Moreover, incorporating a company in Singapore involves several steps that must be followed to ensure a smooth process. It is important to select the correct SSIC code for your business activity to avoid any delays in the incorporation process. If you need help, to find the right code, get in touch with us today. 

You can also use our SSIC Code Checker. When searching for it in our code list, it’s important to be as specific and accurate as possible. Take into consideration all the activities your business is engaged in and select the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification that best represents your core business activities. Remember that the code you choose will impact how your business is categorised and perceived, so it’s crucial to choose wisely. 

Common Misconceptions about SSIC Codes 

Despite their importance, there are some common misconceptions about Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes that need to be addressed. One misconception is that SSIC codes are only relevant for large corporations or businesses operating in certain industries. In reality, Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes are applicable to businesses of all sizes and across various sectors. Whether you’re a small startup, a freelancer, or a multinational corporation, accurately identifying your SSIC code is essential for compliance, networking, and growth. 

Another misconception is that Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes are fixed and cannot be changed once assigned. While it’s true that SSIC codes provide a standardised framework for classifying businesses, they are not set in stone. If your business undergoes significant changes or expands into new areas, it may be necessary to update your Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code to accurately reflect your current activities. Consulting with industry experts or government agencies can help you navigate any necessary changes to your SSIC code. 

Common Examples of SSIC Codes 

To provide a better understanding of Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes, let’s explore some common examples: 

  1. 56111: Restaurants – This code is applicable to establishments in the food and beverage industry, such as restaurants. Please note that this activity may require a license. 
  2. 62011: Development of Software and Applications – This code is relevant for businesses involved in software and application development, excluding games and cybersecurity. 
  3. 46900: Wholesale Trade of a Variety of Goods – This code is applicable to companies engaged in the wholesale trade of various goods without a dominant product. 
  4. 69201: Accounting and Auditing Services – This code covers accounting and auditing services and excludes online marketplaces. Depending on the nature of your services, a license may be required. 

SSIC Codes Under Referral Authorities 

In certain cases, specific Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes may need to be reviewed by Referral Authorities before being approved in the BizFile. This additional step can potentially lead to delays in the incorporation of your company operations, including company registration. Let’s take a look at some examples of SSIC codes that require review. 

  1. Monetary Authority of Singapore – Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes such as 64120, 64130, 64140, and 64992, which pertain to banks and financial holding companies, including full, wholesale, merchant, and foreign banks, fall under the review of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. 
  2. Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) – Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes 68201 and 68209, which involve real estate agency activities (excluding online marketplaces), require review by the Council for Estate Agencies. 
  3. Ministry of Education – Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes like 85211, 85212, and 85220, which are associated with educational establishments such as schools or learning centres, excluding non-academic activities like beauty care or sports, must be reviewed by the Ministry of Education. 

It is advisable to consult the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for more information on whether your code requires review by a Referral Authority. 

Importance of Accurate SSIC Code Selection 

Accurate Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code selection is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that your business is properly classified and represented within the industry. This allows for accurate data collection and reporting, which is essential for government agencies, researchers, and businesses to monitor and analyse industry trends, economic performance, and market dynamics. Accurate classification also facilitates benchmarking and industry comparisons, enabling businesses to gauge their performance against industry standards and identify areas for improvement. 

Secondly, accurate Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code selection enables businesses to access industry-specific benefits, incentives, and support. Many government grants, programs, and initiatives are targeted towards specific industries or sectors. By correctly identifying your business’s main activities through the appropriate Singapore Standard Industrial Classification code, you can unlock opportunities for funding, training, and other resources that are tailored to your industry. This can provide a competitive advantage and support the growth and sustainability of your business. 

Lastly, accurate code selection enhances your business’s credibility and reputation. Investors, partners, and customers often rely on Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes to assess the nature of a business and its level of expertise within a particular industry. By choosing the right code, you can showcase your industry knowledge and expertise, which can attract potential investors, foster strategic partnerships, and build trust with customers. 


Understanding the significance of Singapore Standard Industrial Classification codes is essential for any business owner in Singapore. These codes not only aid in regulatory compliance but also determine eligibility for various government programs and provide insights into the country’s economic landscape. By selecting the correct SSIC code, you ensure accurate reporting, appropriate licensing, and potential access to tax incentives and grants. It helps the Singapore government identify the prevailing types of economic activities in the country and their performance, including data reported under the SSIC code being used in reports, surveys, censuses, administrative databases, and other forecasting and planning documents. Remember to use the BizFile site and ACRA website for accurate and up-to-date information regarding SSIC codes. By unlocking the power of SSIC codes, you position your business for success in the thriving Singaporean economy. 

Contact us today to set up a free consultation and discuss how our expertise can support your specific business needs. Our team of professionals is committed to providing customised solutions that enable your business to thrive. Partner with Grof and embark on a journey of growth and success.