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A guide to SIC, NAICS, and NAPCS classification systems and codes.

SIC & NAICS: Industry Classification Codes

Use SIC and NAICS codes for industry research

You can use SIC and NAICS industry classification codes to find statistics and information about industries in the Economic Census and business databases. Use the codes to: 

  • Utilize data from the Economic Census and other U.S. Census products
  • Identify the lines of business of a company
  • Identify competitors in the industry
  • Locate industry ratios to compare with the company's ratios
  • Generate listings of companies within an industry
  • Find articles and current news about an industry

About SIC and NAICS

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) are classification systems created by the United States government. These systems are used to classify business establishments for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data describing the U.S. economy. 

What is the difference between SIC and NAICS?

The SIC system was originally developed in the 1930s and was last updated in 1987. The NAICS system was first released in 2002 and last updated in 2022. NAICS was developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to allow for better comparisons between the three countries. NAICS also recognizes hundreds more businesses than SIC did, primarily in the service sector. While NAICS has officially replaced SIC, many business databases and directories still use one or both of the systems. Therefore, it is important to know about both SIC and NAICS.

Code structure

  • SIC codes consist of four digit numbers that apply to a company based on the type of products or services it produces.​ For example:
    5812 = Eating Places
  • NAICS codes consist of six digits to allow for greater specificity for classifying an industry. ​For example:
    722511 = Full Service Restaurants
    722513 = Limited-Service Restaurants

Find SIC & NAICS Codes

Here are two ways to find SIC and NAICS Codes:

Option 1. Search the official government SIC and NAICS manuals online to locate codes and industry descriptions.

Option 2. Locate a company profile for a company that operates within the industry you are researching. Company profiles typically include the company's SIC and NAICS codes. Many companies operate across a variety of industries (e.g. have multiple lines of business) and may have more than one code. A company's primary SIC/NAICS code is usually the first in the listing. 

These library databases provide company profiles: