What are NAICS codes?
NAICS is the North American Industrial Classification System:
- NAICS official homepage
- Pronounced "nakes," NAICS codes are numbers that classify industries (i.e. business activities, like types of manufacturing and services).
- NAICS codes are hierarchical -- the longer the number, the more detailed the industry. NAICS codes are up to six digits long.
- NAICS is the modern version of the old SIC structure.
- NAICS is more detailed than SIC, does a much better job of covering service and technology industries, and covers all three NAFTA economies.
Examples of NAICS codes:
513 Broadcasting and telecommunications
51332 Wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite)
513322 Cell phones and cell phone service
So what? NAICS make it easy to:
- Find competitors and customers;
- Find industry reports;
- Benchmark finances (ex. financial ratios and the Economic Census);
- Analyze trade data, employment trends, etc.
- See the Industry Analysis guide for some resources that use NAICS.
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