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SIC Code For Vape Shops & Other Retailers

Nov 16, 2021

What is a SIC code?

SIC is short for Standard Industrial Classification. When starting your business, you will need to assign your business up to 4 SIC codes from a predetermined list. These codes effectively tell Companies House what it is that your business does.

According to Companies House there are over 600 SIC codes to choose from and you need to supply at least one code to describe what your business does.

Companies House state that SIC codes ‘allows us to track the number of companies operating in the different type of industries. This gives an indication of emerging trends and the strength of the UK economy.’

UK SIC 2007 is the current standard used in classifying businesses. 

When do you need a SIC code?

You will need to assign a SIC code when setting up your business and incorporating with Companies House. You will also need your SIC code when sending your confirmation statement – you should update your SIC code on your confirmation statement if your business activities change.

You will also need a SIC code when registering for VAT.

It’s important to note that you still need to provide a SIC code if your company is dormant or non-trading.

Where do you find a SIC code?

SIC codes can be found on the gov.uk website for use when filing to Companies House.

You can use this search functionality to identify the SIC code(s) most relevant to your business activity.

Is there a specific SIC code for vape retailers?

No, it seems that there is not a specific SIC code for vape retailers or the vape industry

Searching the condensed SIC code list for terms such as ‘vape’, and ‘e-cigarette’ returns no matches.

In many cases vape shops end up being classified as linked to the tobacco industry even though they are not tobacconists.

What SIC codes are used within the vaping sector?

Remarkably, despite lobbying, the vape sector does not have specific codes allocated by Government to reflect the different parts of the sector. Our view is that this lack of action is not helping the sector to distinguish itself from the tobacco sector which is of utmost frustration to many  – we know you tell us ! It is certainly not helping us in our role as brokers in placing insurances with an insurance market reluctant to commit capacity and enthusiasm to the sector.

We remain baffled as to why the vape industry is yet to have a specific SIC code. Vaping is seen by the government as a crucial tool in the bid to stop smoking. Recent news suggests that e-cigarettes could soon be prescribed on the NHS in England to help people stop smoking tobacco products.

We urge individual companies and the sector more generally to lobby Government to move quicker in recognising the Vaping sector .

What SIC code should a vape shop use?

You will need to search the SIC code list for the most relevant code for your business.

There is no official advice as to which SIC code should be used for a vape shop or vape retailer.

Why is it important to classify your vape shop correctly?

Whilst it may be possible, if not ideal, to find a best fit SIC code for your vape shop when it comes to registering your business, it is important to know how to classify your business when it comes to your insurance.

As specialists in vape insurance, we’ve come across many surprising situations when it comes to insurance for vape shops. For example, we’ve come across vaping businesses who have insurance for tobacconists or electronic goods businesses instead of insurance for vaping businesses.

Misclassification of your business when it comes to insurance can see you find your business in the position of being incorrectly insured or underinsured.

If your vape insurance is up for renewal, or you are setting up a vape shop and need to take out a new insurance policy then please do get in touch with us. We know that as an owner of a vape business you will face many unique risks and challenges and can help arrange the best level of insurance to truly protect your business.

You can get in touch with our team of vape insurance experts on 0208 290 9080 or email us at ecig@anthonyjones.com.

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You can call us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Outside of office hours you can either email us or leave an answerphone message and we promise to get back to you the next working day.

General enquiries:
020 8290 4560

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