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Understanding the ANZSIC Code: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

Confused about ANZSIC codes and how to find your ANZSIC code? These classification codes are essential organizational tools for businesses in Australia and New Zealand, impacting everything from tax filings to data analysis.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what Anzsic codes are, why they matter, and how to identify and use the correct Anzsic code for your business operations.

Key Takeaways

  • ANZSIC codes are essential for organizing and comprehensively classifying the economic activities of businesses and are used by various stakeholders for administrative, regulatory, taxation, and research purposes.
  • The structure of ANZSIC codes is hierarchical and detailed, with levels from divisions to classes represented by alphanumeric characters and four-digit numbers that encapsulate the specifics of business activities.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is responsible for updating ANZSIC codes to reflect changes in the economy and industries, ensuring their ongoing relevance, and businesses are required to update their codes as their operations evolve.

The Importance of ANZSIC Codes

ANZSIC codes classification

ANZSIC codes, the unsung heroes of economic data analysis, offer more than just a way to classify businesses based on their primary activity. They serve as the backbone of data organization, transforming heaps of business data into analytically useful groupings.

Imagine a library without a catalogue, a city without street names, or a world without GPS coordinates. That’s how vital these codes are in the world of economics.

However, the influence of ANZSIC codes extends further than just data organization. They play a critical role in enhancing the comparability of industry statistics between Australia and New Zealand, significantly improving the quality of economic data analysis.

From government agencies to industry organizations and researchers, a wide array of stakeholders utilize these codes for purposes ranging from:

  • administrative
  • regulatory
  • taxation
  • research

Business industry code

Business entities range from non-profit organizations to government departments. How, then, do we categorize these diverse entities? The ANZSIC codes come to the rescue, classifying them based on their predominant activity.

Thus, businesses can use these codes to accurately represent their operations for data collection, analysis, and other official purposes.

ANZSIC codes play a pivotal role in organizing economic statistics and grouping business units engaged in similar productive activities into industries. Moreover, businesses are required to include their Business Industry Code on tax returns, signifying their main business activity.

This helps in providing an accurate representation of their operations, especially in cases where a business is involved in multiple activities.

Industry Statistics

The ANZSIC codes, or Zealand Standard Industrial Classification codes, are instrumental in the standardized collection, analysis, and dissemination of industry-based economic data. The power of these codes lies in their ability to:

  • Enhance the comparability of industry statistics produced by both Australia and New Zealand
  • Improve the quality of economic data available to policymakers and researchers
  • Facilitate informed decision-making

Business units, for instance, those producing industry statistics, receive their classification based on ANZSIC codes. This classification is crucial for collecting accurate and relevant industry data, ensuring a comprehensive and reliable statistical landscape.

Decoding ANZSIC Codes: Structure and Components

Though ANZSIC codes might appear complex initially, comprehension of their structure simplifies them significantly. These codes are organised hierarchically into divisions, subdivisions, groups, and classes, offering varying levels of detail about the economic activities of entities.

Picture a tree, with its trunk representing the broad divisions of the economy and its branches and leaves representing more detailed classifications of economic activities.

The beauty of ANZSIC codes lies in their comprehensiveness, mutual exclusivity, and stability over time. Businesses can rest assured that these codes accurately represent their activities, thanks to a careful creation process that considers criteria like economic significance and industry homogeneity.

Whether you’re running a boutique in Melbourne or a software company in Wellington, there’s a specific ANZSIC code that accurately represents your business activity.

Four-digit numbers

Let’s explore more about the structure of ANZSIC codes, focusing on the four-digit numbers that provide a detailed classification within sectors.

For instance, under the broader category of Transport Equipment Manufacturing, we have codes like 2391 for Shipbuilding and Repair Services, 2392 for Boatbuilding and Repair Services, and 2393 for the manufacture of railway rolling stock.

In the realm of ANZSIC codes, each digit conveys a specific piece of information. The first digit represents a broad category, while subsequent digits indicate more specific subcategories. The fourth digit, often the most intriguing, reveals specific details about a category.

The number nine here is reserved to represent a residual class, allowing the system to introduce new categories in the future without reorganizing existing codes.

Major divisions and subcategories

In addition to the four-digit codes, the ANZSIC structure encompasses major divisions and subcategories. Each Division in the ANZSIC system is denoted by an alphabetical character, which comprises multiple Subdivisions signified by two-digit codes.

These Subdivisions are further broken down into Groups with three-digit codes, and the most specific level, Classes, are indicated by four-digit codes.

Take the Manufacturing Division as an example. It includes subdivisions that reflect distinct characteristics, such as:

  • production processes
  • inputs
  • equipment used
  • the skills of the workforce

To ensure consistency, each business unit is uniquely classified into an ANZSIC class based on its predominant activity.

Key Industry Sectors and Their ANZSIC Codes

The versatility of ANZSIC codes is evident in their coverage of various key industry sectors. Whether you’re in:

  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Trade, or
  • Services

there’s an ANZSIC code for you. The codes are structured into divisions that represent these different key industry sectors, underscoring the system’s comprehensive coverage of the economy.

The accurate identification and utilization of ANZSIC codes is key to correctly classifying business activities across diverse industry sectors. For instance, Division A corresponds to the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing sector, Division B to Mining, and Division E to Construction.

With ANZSIC codes, the complex tapestry of economic activities is organized into an easily understandable framework.

Transport equipment manufacturing

Transport equipment manufacturing industry

The Transport Equipment Manufacturing sector, a significant part of the Manufacturing Division (Division C), is one of many sectors covered by ANZSIC codes, including oil and gas extraction.

This sector includes entities that utilize power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment in their operations, as well as those involved in transport equipment rental and transport support services.

Within this sector, every sub-industry has its unique ANZSIC code. For instance, the code for motor vehicle manufacturing is 2311, while 2312 represents businesses manufacturing motor vehicle bodies and trailers.

These specific codes ensure that every business, no matter how niche, is accurately represented in the ANZSIC system.

Computer system design and data processing services

In our digital age, the computer system design and data processing services sectors hold a prominent position in the economy. Within the ANZSIC system, the code for Computer System Design and Related Services is 7000, while Data Processing, Web Hosting, and Electronic Information Storage Services are represented by the code 5921.

The services under these codes include a wide array of activities, such as:

  • computer system design
  • system consultancy
  • network systems design
  • software development
  • Internet and web design consulting services
  • interest group services
  • Internet and music publishing
  • safety services
  • site preparation services
  • tour arrangement services
  • social assistance services
  • technical services

This broad coverage illustrates the comprehensive nature of ANZSIC codes, capturing even the most advanced sectors of our economy.

Navigating ANZSIC Code Changes and Updates

Much like the economy, ANZSIC codes are not stagnant. They undergo periodic reviews to ensure they accurately reflect new industries, business methods, and technologies and meet emerging user requirements for industry statistics.

This adaptability ensures that the ANZSIC system remains relevant and effective in categorizing economic activities.

Transitioning to updated ANZSIC codes involves comprehensive modifications to business registers, statistical collections, and outputs. It often includes backcasting previous statistics to align with the new classifications.

While change can be daunting, it’s a necessary part of ensuring the ANZSIC system continues to function as an accurate representation of economic activities.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has a central role in maintaining and updating ANZSIC codes. The ABS works tirelessly to ensure that ANZSIC codes reflect changes in the industry landscape, meeting the evolving needs of data users.

In 2006, the ABS, in collaboration with Statistics New Zealand, developed a more contemporary classification system. This update saw significant changes, such as the introduction of a new Information Media and Telecommunications Division, and shifts in code ranges affecting category content.

This illustrates the ABS’s commitment to maintaining the relevance and accuracy of ANZSIC codes.

Adapting to changes in the economy

ANZSIC codes should adapt in tandem with evolving economic conditions. Businesses may need to realign with new codes that better reflect their current activities. It’s much like updating your GPS coordinates when you move homes; you want to ensure you’re accurately represented on the map.

Businesses should promptly update their Business Industry Code (BIC) by entering the new ANZSIC code on their next income tax return or by updating it on the Australian Business Register if they have an ABN when their work changes or expands.

This ensures that your business remains accurately classified within the ever-changing economic landscape.

How to Find and Use Your ANZSIC Code

Having understood the significance, structure, and updates of ANZSIC codes, you may be pondering on how to find and apply your own code. The process is simpler than you might think. Businesses can find their ANZSIC code by searching the ABS website using keywords related to their primary business activities or by consulting the detailed lists of ANZSIC codes provided by the ABS.

Once businesses have identified their ANZSIC code, they should use it when completing official documents like tax returns, grant applications, and registration forms to ensure consistency and accuracy in data collection.

For further clarification and information, businesses should contact the ABS to assist in identifying the most accurate ANZSIC code.

Locating your ANZSIC code

Ensure you have your Australian Business Number (ABN) and myGovID details at hand to access your ANZSIC code. ANZSIC classifications are not available through the public ABN lookup service, so you’ll need to log in to the Australian Business Register (ABR) website to access them.

Once you’ve logged into the ABR website, navigate to the menu and select ‘ANZSIC and business details’ to view or modify your ANZSIC code. Updating your ANZSIC details is a straightforward process where you describe your main business activity and choose the best matching category from a list, which will then automatically assign your ANZSIC code.

Applying your ANZSIC code

Once you’ve located your ANZSIC code, it’s time to apply it. Businesses should apply their ANZSIC code when completing official documents to ensure consistency and accuracy in data collection. This includes tax returns, grant applications, and registration forms.

Applying your ANZSIC code is not just about ticking a box on a form. It’s about:

  • Accurately representing your business within the wider economic landscape
  • Contributing to the quality of industry data
  • Ensuring that your business is accurately classified for administrative, regulatory, and research purposes.

Comparing ANZSIC Codes with Other Classification Systems

Although ANZSIC codes are vital for classifying economic activities, they aren’t the sole classification system available. Let’s compare ANZSIC codes with two other classification systems: the Fields of Research (FoR) classification and the Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) classification.

Both FoR and SEO classifications are used for research classification, reflecting different categorization approaches. While ANZSIC codes are oriented towards categorizing economic activities of businesses and industries, SEO’s include research objectives that may extend beyond economic contexts.

On the other hand, FoR classification is specifically used to categorize research and development activities based on the field and methodology, differentiating it from ANZSIC’s industry focus.

Fields of Research (FoR) classification

FoR codes classify research and development activities according to their field and methodology. They reflect the disciplines involved in the research and are used for categorizing R&D activities in academia and various research institutions.

Unlike the industry-focused ANZSIC codes, FoR codes are distributed across different panels for Discovery Project grant applications, indicating the diversity and multidisciplinary nature of research fields covered.

The FoR classification under ANZSRC has been designed to support international comparisons and relate to classifications used in other countries with similar social and economic development stages.

Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) classification

The SEO classification system categorizes research based on its related socio-economic objectives. It’s used to categorize R&D activities based on their intended outcomes, such as:

  • Improvements to processes
  • Improvements to products
  • Improvements to health
  • Improvements to education
  • Improvements to social and environmental aspects

In contrast to the ANZSIC codes’ emphasis on economic activities, SEO classifications encompass a broader range of objectives, including non-economic goals within research. These classifications offer another perspective on how research and development activities can be categorized, expanding our understanding beyond economic activities.


In summary, ANZSIC codes offer a powerful tool for classifying businesses and economic activities. They enhance the quality of industry data and facilitate comparisons between Australia and New Zealand.

As our economy evolves, so do the ANZSIC codes, ensuring they remain relevant and accurate. Whether you’re a business owner seeking to classify your operations or a statistician analyzing economic data, understanding ANZSIC codes is integral to your success.

So, why not take the next step? Locate your ANZSIC code and see how it can enhance your business operations and understanding of the economic landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find the ANZSIC code?

You can find the ANZSIC code in the IBISWorld Australian Industry Reports or by visiting the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. Simply search for the ANZSIC code in the provided resources.

What does the ANZSIC code stand for?

The ANZSIC code stands for Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, which is a standard classification used for analyzing industry statistics in Australia and New Zealand.

What is the business industry code in Australia?

The business industry code (BIC) in Australia is a five-digit code used on tax returns to describe the main business activity derived from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) codes. This simplifies tax return reporting.

How are ANZSIC codes structured?

ANZSIC codes are structured hierarchically into divisions, subdivisions, groups, and classes, offering different levels of detail about economic activities. This allows for a comprehensive classification system.

How often are ANZSIC codes updated?

ANZSIC codes are updated periodically to reflect new industries, business methods, and technologies and meet emerging user requirements for industry statistics. This ensures they accurately represent the current business landscape.


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