Industry Codes

Published: Jul 14, 2011
Last Updated: Feb 1, 2016
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The North American Industry Classification System

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.

Here Are Some Relevant Categories:

Type
Code Description
NAICS 23
Construction
NAICS 238 Specialty Trade Contractors
NAICS 2381 Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors
NAICS 238130 Framing Contractors
NAICS 2383 Building Finishing Contractors
NAICS 238350 Finish Carpentry Contractors
SIC 17
Construction - Special Trade Contractors
SIC 1751
Carpentry Work

»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.

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