Company Formations

What is the appropriate SIC code for a photography and film business?

Catherine BoxallCatherine Boxall
Last updated on:
July 1, 2022
Published on:
March 22, 2022

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Before setting up your photography business, you will need to incorporate your business. During the company incorporation process on Companies House, you will need to provide your company’s SIC code based on the nature of your business and services. There are over 600 SIC codes to choose from which can be overwhelming. This article explains what a SIC code is and how to choose one for your new photography company.

What are standard industrial classifications?

A Standard industrial classification code (SIC code) is a five-digit business code which describes a company’s economic activities and business services. These codes help the Office for National Statistics (ONS) track the state and growth of UK companies. The condensed UK SIC code list maintained by Companies House is available on the website. A limited company can have multiple SIC codes. Dormant companies and non-trading companies are also required to have a SIC code.

Your photography business can have multiple SIC codes if they have multiple business activities. SIC codes can also be updated via a confirmation statement if ever the business’ activities evolve.

What SIC code should I use for my photography business?

The SIC code for portrait photographers is 74201 and this covers typical portrait photography. You might use this SIC code if you are a home photographer who captures images of families, if you are a profile photographer with photography studios, a passport photographer or if you are a school photographer.

If your photography business involves aerial photography for example, this SIC code might not seem hugely appropriate. In this case, you can use the SIC code 74202 for all other specialist photography or 74209 for photographic services not elsewhere classified. This might be the case for photographers who take images for tourism purposes, for real estate, for retail stores or who participate in any other type of photographic activity.

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What SIC code should I use if I produce video content?

The SIC code you should use for video content depends on the type of video production you undertake and the point at which you get involved in video content in your small business. For example:

  • If you are involved in motion picture production activities you should use the code 69111.
  • If you are involved in motion picture film projection activities, for example by overseeing the technical services required, you will want to use the code 59140.
  • If you are involved in motion picture distribution activities you will want to use the code 59131.
  • If you are involved in motion picture, video and television programme post-production activities, such as film processing and film developing,  you will want to use the code 59120.
  • If you are involved in motion picture television and other theatrical casting activities you will want to use the code 78101.

Are you ready to start a business?

Companies MadeSimple helps you register a limited company online, in four simple steps. A Companies House authorised agent, we’ve formed over 1 million companies to date. With company formation packages that can include a registered office address and mail forwarding services, you’ll find what you need to register a company right. Search for a company name and set up a UK company using Companies MadeSimple now.


Once you have chosen a SIC code for your video or photography services and finalised the incorporation process, you will need to generate legal contracts to structure your business activities. Creating lawyer-approved agreements can be costly and it can be tempting to download free templates online. However, this process is risky and unnecessary thanks to contract management platforms like Legislate. Legislate allows to tailor the essential agreements to hire and grow your business such as employment, consultancy and internship agreements. To create a lawyer-approved contract for only £9.95, sign up to Legislate today!

The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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