Principle activity descriptions

To help advisers choose the correct industry and activity classification for their client when obtaining a quote online, we’ve put the whole list here, with descriptions under each section which explain the types of companies we’d expect to see in that industry/activity type.


Hotels and similar accommodation, holiday and other short-stay accommodation, camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks and trailer parks and other accommodation.

Rental and leasing of goods, vehicles and machinery

Renting and leasing of motor vehicles, renting and leasing of personal and household goods, renting and leasing of other machinery, equipment and tangible goods.

This class includes the activities of allowing others to use intellectual property products and similar products for which a royalty payment or licensing fee is paid to the owner of the product (i.e. the asset holder). The leasing of these products can take various forms, such as permission for reproduction, use in subsequent processes or products, operating businesses under a franchise etc. The current owners may or may not have created these products.

Leasing of intellectual property rights

This class includes leasing of intellectual property products (except copyrighted works, such as books or software) receiving royalties or licensing fees for the use of:

  • patented entities
  • trademarks or service marks
  • brand names
  • mineral exploration and evaluation
  • franchise agreements
Employment, recruitment and HR activities

Activities of employment placement agencies, temporary employment agency activities and other human resources provision.

Travel agencies and tour operators

Travel agency and tour operator activities, other reservation services and related activities.

Security and investigation activities

Private security activities, security systems service activities and investigation activities.

Buildings and landscape servicing and maintenance

Combined facilities support activities, cleaning activities and landscape service activities.

Office support and other business support activities

Office administrative and support activities, and activities of call centres.

Organising conventions and trade shows

Organising conventions and trade shows and business support activities not elsewhere classified.


Growing of crops, plant propagation, animal production, mixed farming, support activities to agriculture and post-harvest crop activities.


Hunting, trapping and related activities.


Forest management, development and other forestry activities including logging, gathering of wild growing non-wood products, support services to forestry.

Fishing and fish-farming

Fishing, freshwater and saltwater farming.

Creative, arts and entertainment activities

Performing arts, support activities to performing arts, artistic creation and operation of arts facilities.

Cultural activities (libraries, museums, etc.)

Library and archive activities, museum activities, the operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions, botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserve activities.

Gambling and betting activities

Gambling and betting activities.

Sports, recreation and amusement activities

Operation of sports facilities, activities of sports clubs, fitness facilities and other sports activities. Activities of amusement parks and theme parks, other amusement and recreation activities.

Construction of buildings

Development of building projects, construction of residential and non-residential buildings.

Civil engineering (excl. construction of buildings)

Construction of roads and railways, construction of utility projects and construction of other civil engineering projects.

Demolition, site preparation and finishing

Demolition and site preparation, building completion and finishing and other specialised construction activities.

Construction installation / maintenance activities

Electrical, plumbing and other construction installation activities.


Pre-primary education, primary education, secondary education, higher education, other education and educational support activities.

Electricity, gas, steam

Electric power generation, transmission and distribution, distribution of gaseous fuels through mains, including steam and natural sources such as wind farms and solar panels.

Air conditioning supply

All activities relating to the installation and supply of air conditioning systems. Does NOT include the manufacture of units.

Financial intermediaries and banks

Monetary intermediation includes activities of holding companies, trusts, funds and similar financial entities. This includes unit trusts, investment trusts, property unit trusts.

Insurance, reinsurance and pension funding

Insurance, reinsurance and pension funding.

Auxiliary activities to finance and insurance

Activities auxiliary to financial services (except insurance and pension funding) and activities auxiliary to insurance and pension funding

Fund management

Fund management activities, including the management of investment funds and pension funds for both individuals and businesses.

Legal, accountancy and tax activities
Legal activities, accounting, book-keeping and auditing activities including tax consultancy.

Human health activities

Hospital activities, medical and dental practice activities.

Residential care activities

Residential nursing care activities, residential care activities for learning disabilities, mental health and substance abuse, residential care activities for the elderly and disabled and other residential care activities.

Social work activities without accommodation

Social work activities without accommodation for the elderly and disabled and other social work activities without accommodation.

Charities and religious groups

Charities and religious groups.

Publishing activities (excluding music publishing)

Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing activities.

Software publishing

Software publishing.

Film/music production (including music publishing)

Motion picture, video and television programme activities, sound recording and music publishing activities.

Radio/TV programming and broadcasting activities

Radio broadcasting, television programming and broadcasting activities.


Wired telecommunications activities, wireless telecommunications activities, satellite telecommunications activities and other telecommunications activities.

Computer programming and consultancy

Computer programming, consultancy and related activities.

Data processing, web hosting & related activities

Data processing, hosting and related activities (including web portals) and other information service activities. Includes web-based search engines and comparison websites. Does not include auction and sales website owners.

Manufacture & processing of food products

Processing and preserving of meat and production of meat products, processing and preserving of fish, crustaceans and molluscs, processing and preserving of fruit and vegetables, manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats, manufacture of dairy products, manufacture of grain mill products, starches and starch products, manufacture of bakery and floury products, manufacture of other food products and manufacture of prepared animal feeds.

Manufacture of beverages

Manufacture of beverages.

Manufacture of tobacco products

Manufacture of tobacco products.

Manufacture & processing of natural textiles

Preparation and spinning of textile fibres, the weaving of textiles, finishing of textiles and manufacture of other textiles.

Manufacture of wearing apparel, including footwear

Manufacture of wearing apparel, manufacture of articles of fur, manufacture of knitted and crocheted apparel, tanning and dressing of leather; manufacture of luggage, handbags, saddlery and harness; dressing and dyeing of fur and manufacture of footwear.

Manufacture of wood products (excl. furniture)

Sawmilling and planing of wood and manufacture of products of wood, cork, straw and plaiting materials.

Manufacture of paper, plastics and assoc. products

Manufacture of pulp, paper and paperboard, manufacture of articles of paper and paperboard, manufacture of rubber products and manufacture of plastics products.


Printing and service activities related to printing and reproduction of recorded media

Manufacture of carbon-based products

Manufacture of coke oven products such as kerosene, naphtha, hydrocarbon gas etc., manufacture of refined petroleum products.

Manufacture of chemical products (incl. pharm)

Manufacture of basic chemicals, fertilisers and nitrogen compounds, plastics and synthetic rubber in primary forms, manufacture of pesticides and other agrochemical products, manufacture of paints, varnishes and similar coatings, printing ink and mastics, manufacture of soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations, manufacture of other chemical products, manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations.

Manufacture of man-made fibres

Manufacture of man-made fibres, including but not exclusively nylon, acetate, acrylic, carbon fibre and artificial turf.

Manufacture of glass, clay, concrete and stone products

Manufacture of glass, clay, porcelain, concrete and stone products.

Manufacture of metals and metal products

Manufacture of metals and metal products (except machinery).

Manufacture of electrical and optical products

Manufacture of electrical and optical products, this includes televisions, cinematic equipment and computers.

Manufacture of machinery and equipment

Manufacture of general-purpose machinery, manufacture of other general-purpose machinery, manufacture of agricultural and forestry machinery, manufacture of metal forming machinery and machine tools and manufacture of other special-purpose machinery.

Manufacture of transport equipment (incl. parts)

Manufacture of motor vehicles, manufacture of bodies (coachwork) for motor vehicles, manufacture of trailers and semi-trailers, manufacture of parts and accessories for motor vehicles, building of ships and boats, manufacture of railway locomotives and rolling stock, manufacture of air and spacecraft and related machinery, manufacture of military fighting vehicles and manufacture of transport equipment not elsewhere classified.

Manufacture of furniture

Manufacture of furniture.

Manufacture of jewellery

Manufacture of jewellery.

Manufacture of recreational goods

Manufacture of recreational goods, including sports goods and games and toys

Manufacture of medical equipment and supplies

Manufacture of medical equipment and supplies.

Repair and installation of machinery and equipment

Repair of fabricated metal products, machinery and equipment and installation of industrial machinery and equipment.

Coal Mining

Mining of hard coal and mining of lignite.

Oil and natural gas extraction (not refining)

Extraction of crude petroleum and extraction of natural gas.

Mining of metal ores

Mining of iron ores and mining of non-ferrous metal ores.

Other mining and quarrying

Quarrying of stone, sand and clay. Other mining not elsewhere classified.

Legal, accountancy and tax activities

Legal activities, accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities including tax consultancy.

Activities of head offices; management consultancy activities

Activities of head offices, Management consultancy activities.

Architectural and engineering activities

Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy.

Technical testing and analysis

Technical testing and analysis.

Scientific research and development

Research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering, and research and experimental development on social sciences and humanities.

Advertising and market research

Advertising, market research and public opinion polling.


Specialised design activities.


Photography activities.

Translating and interpreting

Translating and interpreting activities.

Veterinary activities

Veterinary activities.

Public sector work

Administration of the State and the economic and social policy of the community, provision of services to the community as a whole and compulsory social security activities.

Trade and regulatory bodies

Activities of trade bodies/unions including professional membership bodies. This includes regulatory and supervisory bodies.

Real estate

Buying and selling of own real estate, renting and operating of own or leased real estate and real estate activities on a fee or contract basis. Includes the operators of social housing groups, unless their principal activity is the construction of housing.

Land transportation (passenger and freight)

Passenger rail transport, interurban, freight rail transport, other passenger land transport and freight transport by road and removal services.

Transportation via pipeline

Transport via pipeline (includes transportation of slurry, water, biofuel).

Water transport of passengers and freight on water

Sea and coastal passenger water transport, sea and coastal freight water transport, inland passenger water transport and inland freight water transport.

Air transport of passengers and freight by air

Passenger air transport, freight air transport and space transport.

Warehousing and support activities (excl. ports)

Warehousing and storage, support activities for transportation (includes airports). Marine ports are excluded.



Transportation of post

Postal activities under universal service obligation and other postal and courier activities.

Water collection, treatment and supply

Water collection, treatment and supply.



Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; recycling

Waste collection, waste treatment and disposal, materials recovery.

Remediation of chemical contamination

Remediation activities and other waste management services such as land and groundwater decontamination.

Sale and repair of motor vehicles

Sale of motor vehicles, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, the sale of motor vehicle parts and accessories, sale, maintenance and repair of motorcycles and related parts and accessories.

Wholesale trade (not motor vehicles)

Wholesale on a fee or contract basis, wholesale of agricultural raw materials and live animals, wholesale of food, beverages and tobacco, wholesale of household goods, wholesale of information and communication equipment, wholesale of other machinery, equipment and supplies, other specialised wholesale and non-specialised wholesale trade.

e-Commerce trading

Activities of online auction house, agents involved in bringing sellers and buyers together to form a trading partnership. This includes online booking facilities for leisure activities.

Retail trade (not motor vehicles)

Retail sale in non-specialised stores, retail sale of food, beverages and tobacco in specialised stores, retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised stores, retail sale of information and communication equipment in specialised stores, retail sale of other household equipment in specialised stores, retail sale of cultural and recreation goods in specialised stores, retail sale of other goods in specialised stores, retail sale via stalls and markets and retail trade not in stores, stalls or markets.