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Small Business: Industry Classification

A guide for small business research.

What is a NAICS Code?

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used to organize industry information. It's designed to produce common industry definitions for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It is a hierarchical classification system, offering five levels of detail. Codes are assigned to an industry based on products and services provided by the industry.

Industries are represented by a six-digit number. The first two digits designate the economic sector: manufacturing, agriculture, wholesale, retail, professional services, etc. The subsequent digits designate subsectors and industry groups.

Each digit in the code is part of a series of progressively narrower categories.

Example:

72 - Accommodation and Food Services

722 - Food Services and Drinking Places

7225 - Restaurants and Other Eating Places

722511 - Full Service Restaurants

The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), an earlier U.S. system, is still used by some sources.

  Industry Codes & Classification

Finding Industry Information by NAICS

Government agencies and business information providers use NAICS to organize industry information. In addition to the links below, you can search several business databases by NAICS and/or SIC codes for industry information.

Find Industry Codes for a Company

To find industry codes for a specific company, search for a company profile in a company directory. Note that many companies operate in more than one industry (e.g. have multiple lines of business) and may have more than one code.