How to find and use your ANZSIC code

June 26, 2024
minutes to read
Jaala Alex
Table of Contents

Imagine a giant library with millions of books. How would you find the right book? You'd use a system to categorise them. One shelf might be labelled "Retail," another "Manufacturing," and others for more specific things like "Computer Repair" or "Pet Grooming." Each shelf is then divided into smaller folders representing different types of businesses within that industry. That's what Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) codes do for businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

An ANZSIC code is a numerical code used to identify and categorise a company's specific industry or business in which activity. Think of it as a unique "fingerprint" for each type of business. These codes are standardised across Australia and New Zealand, ensuring consistency and allowing for accurate comparison of economic data between the two countries.

An Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) code is a numerical code used to identify and categorise a company's specific industry or business activity. Think of it as a unique "fingerprint" for each type of business. These codes are standardised across Australia and New Zealand, ensuring consistency and allowing for accurate comparison of economic data between the two countries.

ANZSIC codes are not arbitrary; they are developed based on international standards and are regularly updated to reflect changes in the economic landscape. This ensures that the classification system remains relevant and accurate over time.

Why are ANZSIC codes necessary?

For the government: These codes help them track how industries perform and make economic decisions.

ANZSIC codes are essential for economic research and policy-making. Researchers use data classified under these codes to analyse industry trends and economic performance. By leveraging this structured classification system, researchers can provide valuable insights into various sectors of the economy.

Government agencies and policymakers use this data to design and implement economic policies. This helps allocate resources efficiently and address economic challenges. For instance, knowing the distribution of businesses across different ANZSIC codes can aid in targeting support programs to where they're needed most.

The ANZSIC classification can also help identify emerging industries or declining sectors, informing decisions on economic diversification and investment strategies.

For researchers: They can use the codes to analyse data and understand trends in specific industries.

For businesses: ANZSIC codes can help you:

  • Understand your industry: Knowing your code allows you to easily see where your business fits into the larger economic picture.
  • Compare your performance: You can see how well you're doing compared to other businesses with the same code.
  • Target your marketing: You can use your code to find other businesses in your industry and potentially collaborate or learn from them.
  • Fill out government forms: Your ANZSIC code is often required on tax returns and other official documents.

Businesses benefit by using ANZSIC codes to streamline their operations and reporting processes. For instance, when filing tax returns, a business must include its Business Industry Code, simplifying the reporting of its primary activities. This consistent classification across different government systems ensures better coordination and less confusion.

For more details, visit the Australian Taxation Office and Statistics New Zealand web pages.

How do you view and update your ANZSIC classification?

Whether you are a sole trader, a small business owner, or running a large corporation, understanding and correctly classifying your business activities using ANZSIC codes is crucial for accurate tax reporting in Australia.

Your ANZSIC classification is linked to your Australian Business Number (ABN). To view your current classification:

  1. Go to the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.
  2. Log in using your myGovID.
  3. Select "Update ABN record."
  4. From the menu on the right, choose "ANZSIC and business details."
  5. Your current ANZSIC code and its description will be displayed.
Thriday can help you minimise your tax bill with its intuitive interface.

Important reminders

  • Ensure that your ANZSIC code accurately reflects your main business activity. This is essential for correct tax reporting and to avoid any potential penalties.
  • If your business engages in multiple activities, choose the code that represents the activity that generates the most income. You can also add additional codes for other significant activities.
  • Certain industries have specific tax rules and concessions. Your ANZSIC code can determine your eligibility for these benefits.
  • If your business activities change, keep your ANZSIC code up-to-date. This ensures you comply with tax regulations and receive relevant tax benefits.

How to find your ANZSIC code?

Finding your ANZSIC code is easier than you think:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics: Australian Bureau of Statistics website has a comprehensive list of codes and a search tool tailored for businesses.
  2. Australian Taxation Office: ATO business industry code tool can help you determine the correct code for tax purposes.
  3. Professional advice: If you need more clarification, consult an accountant or business advisor with expertise in the digital sector. They can guide you through the selection process and ensure your business is classified correctly.

Frequently asked questions

I'm a sole trader with multiple income streams. Do I need multiple ANZSIC codes?

Yes, if your business activities fall under different industries, listing multiple ANZSIC codes is recommended. This accurately reflects the diversity of your work and ensures accurate data collection. You can list up to four additional codes alongside your main code on the Australian Business Register (ABR).

How do I choose my main ANZSIC code if I have multiple businesses?

Your main ANZSIC code should reflect the activity that generates the most revenue or is the core focus of your business. The additional codes can then represent your other income streams.

I'm an entrepreneur with several businesses under different ABNs. Does each business need its own ANZSIC code?

Yes, each business registered under a separate ABN requires its own ANZSIC code(s) to accurately reflect its specific activities.

My business activities have changed since I first registered my ABN. Can I update my ANZSIC code(s)?

It's important to keep your ANZSIC codes updated to reflect any changes in your business activities. You can easily update your details on the ABR online.

Where can I find a comprehensive list of ANZSIC codes?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides a comprehensive list of ANZSIC codes. You can find the ANZSIC codes list on their website.

What is the total number of ANZSIC classes currently categorised?

There are currently 86 ANZSIC subdivisions, an increase from the 53 subdivisions in the previous 1993 classification.

How do I find the appropriate ANZSIC code for a not-for-profit organisation?

To find the appropriate ANZSIC code for a not-for-profit organisation, use the business industry code tool. Input your organisation’s primary activity to get the most suitable code.

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