Industry Codes

Published: Aug 13, 2019
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2019
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The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

At the start of your research, it may not be clear what specific industry you should be examining. A good strategy is to find out if your business idea is classified in an industrial classification system. These systems organize industries by assigning them a numeric code. The most commonly used system is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  Once you know your Industry Classification Code you can use this number to:

  • Find industry-specific statistics on government websites or in library databases
  • Generate lists of competitors in company directories

Another common classification system is the Standard Industry Code (SIC). NAICS have most replaced the SIC, but the SIC is still used by some commercial databases. Finding and using these classification systems to effectively search can be tricky, so don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help.

Try These

Type Code Description
NAICS 3118 – Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing Includes establishments that manufacture baked goods (not for immediate consumption).
NAICS 31181 – Bread and Bakery Product Manufacturing Includes establishments that manufacture bakery products for consumption off the premises. Does not include establishments that primarily engage in cookie and cracker manufacturing.
NAICS 311811 – Retail Bakeries (US) Includes establishments that primarily manufacture baked products for retail sale. Products are consumed off the premises.
NAICS 311814 – Commercial Bakeries and Frozen Bakery Product Manufacturing (CAN) Includes establishments that primarily manufacture bread, cakes, croissants, doughnuts and other baked products (frozen ones included) for commercial sale. Products are consumed off the premises.
NAICS 311821 – Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing (US) Includes establishments that primarily manufacture cookies, crackers, biscuits and similar products.
NAICS 4452 – Specialty Food Stores Includes establishments that retail specialized food products.
NAICS 44529 – Other Specialty Food Stores Includes baked goods stores, dairy product stores, confectionary stores and other stores that retail specialized food products.
NAICS 445291 – Baked Goods Stores (US) Includes establishments that primarily retail baked goods that are not manufactured on-site. Goods are consumed off the premises.

»Search or browse all NAICS or SIC codes on the NAICS Association website. Some NAICS codes are different in Canada, you can search by keyword or browse Canadian NAICS codes at Statistics Canada or Canadian Industry Statistics. To search for a SIC code using a NAICS code and vice-versa use the NAICS & SIC Crosswalks.   

For more information about planning your industry research and industry codes, check out the video tutorial for Module 3: Planning Your Industry Research.