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NAICS Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is NAICS and how is it used?
     
  2. Where can I get a complete list of NAICS codes?
     
  3. How can I find data (payroll, establishment, sales receipts, etc.) for a specific NAICS industry?
     
  4. How can I find out the NAICS code for a specific activity?    
     
  5. How can I convert an SIC code to a NAICS code?
     
  6. Why are some NAICS codes only 5-digits long?
     
  7. How can I have my company's SIC or NAICS code changed?
     
  8. Can I get a NAICS code or other statistical data for a specific company?
     
  9. How can I find an occupational NAICS code?
     
  10. How do I find out information about the size standards?
     
  11. I have to file a INS form I-129W, how do I find the NAICS code I need ?
     
  12. How can I purchase a copy of the NAICS manual?
  13. If my question isn't here or I still need more information, what should I do?


1. What is NAICS and how is it used?

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS pronounced Nakes) is a unique, all-new system for classifying business establishments.  Adopted in 1997 to replace the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, it is the industry classification system used by the statistical agencies of the United States.  It is the first economic classification system to be constructed based on a single economic concept.  To learn more about the background, the development and the difference between NAICS and the SIC, visit the following Census website:
http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naicsdev.htm .

2. Where can I get a complete list of NAICS codes?

A complete list of 2002 NAICS hierarchy including codes and titles is located on the NAICS website under http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/naicod02.htm . A code list containing only the 6-digit NAICS codes is located at http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/naico602.htm .

3. How can I find data (payroll, establishment, sales receipts, etc.) for a specific NAICS industry ?

You can obtain data for a specific NAICS industry by going to the 1997 Economic Census website, http://www.census.gov/epcd/ec97/us/US000.HTM .  This website provides data at the sector level.  You may also click on the down arrow, under the heading "More data", and get data at the subsector and industry levels.  You may also get data by state, or selected metro area by using the pull-down menus in the upper right hand corner of the page.  You may also obtain data from the American Fact Finder website. http://factfinder.census.gov .   In this site, look under the Economic Census tab at the bottom of the page.  You can obtain a quick report by either industry or geography by clicking on the links listed.  Beginning with the 1998 data year, the annual County Business Patterns reports provide employment, payroll, number of establishments (but not sales/receipts).  The CBP data can be found at http://www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/view/cbpview.html .

4. How can I find out the NAICS code for a specific activity?     

You can go to our on-line keyword search, at right or elsewhere at this site, to find the 2002 NAICS code for specific activities. This tool also allows you to search for definitions of 2002 NAICS industries, and to view the correspondence between NAICS and SIC codes. The search tool can also be found at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/epcd/srchnaics02defs.

5. How can I convert an SIC code to a NAICS code?

If you are asked (on any form) for your NAICS code, but only know your SIC code, you can enter that code in the form "SIC 1234" in the NAICS search box shown above. You can also find the appropriate 2002 NAICS code by using table 4, 1987 SIC matched to 2002 NAICS at http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/S87TON02.HTM . If you have a database of companies with SIC codes, and want to convert the SIC codes to NAICS codes, you can download these correspondence tables in a variety of formats at http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/ .

6. Why are some NAICS codes only 5-digits long?

NAICS is a 6-digit code system. In developing NAICS, the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed that the 5-digit codes would represent the level at which the system is comparable among the three countries. The sixth digit allows for each of the countries to have additional detail (i.e., subdivisions of a 5-digit category). In cases where the U.S. did not choose to create additional detail, the 5- and 6-digit categories within U.S. NAICS are the same, and the 6-digit US NAICS code ends in zero. In some hierarchical presentations, the 6-digit code is omitted where it is the same as the 5-digit category.

Example:
33992 Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing 
	339920 Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturing 

33993 Doll, Toy, and Game Manufacturing 
	339931 Doll and Stuffed Toy Manufacturing 
	339932 Game, Toy, and Children's Vehicle Manufacturing
Because NAICS 33993 is subdivided into two 6-digit industries, "339930" is not a valid code. A complete list of 6-digit codes is available for reference ( ASCII ) ( spreadsheet ).

7. How can I have my company's SIC or NAICS code changed?

There is no "official" way to have a company's SIC or NAICS code changed.  Various Federal government agencies maintain their own lists of business establishments, and assign classification codes based on their own programmatic needs.  Generally, the classification codes are derived from information that the business establishment has provided on administrative, survey, or census reports.  

 For this reason, we recommend that you contact the agency that has assigned the code that you believe should be changed.  For example, if you question the SIC or NAICS code contained on a form received from OSHA, you should contact the Department of Labor.  If it is a form from the Bureau of the Census, then see the answer to Question 13, and send us an e-mail using the link provided there.  For access to a list of Federal government agencies, visit this website:
 http://www.firstgov.com /.

8. Can I get a NAICS code or other statistical data for a specific company?

The Census Bureau will not provide the names, addresses, or SIC/NAICS classification codes of companies.  Such information is confidential, and its confidentiality is protected by Title 13 of the United States Code, which forbids us to share with anyone else specific data reported to us by a company.

 There are a number of private research firms that provide SIC/NAICS codes for specific companies, often for a fee.  The Census Bureau cannot verify the accuracy of the codes provided by these companies, and the codes provided by these companies may or may not agree with the codes assigned by the Census Bureau or other government agencies.  Some of the companies are:

Dun & Bradstreet - www.dnb.com
Hoovers - www.hoovers.com
InfoUSA - www.infousa.com
Moody's Investors Service - www.moodys.com
Standard & Poor's - www.standardandpoors.com
HarrisInfoSource - www.HarrisInfo.com


9. How can I find an occupational NAICS code?

The Census Bureau uses the NAICS system to classify establishments according to their primary industrial activity.  We do not use the NAICS system to classify occupations.  To obtain additional information on occupational codes, visit the Census website; www.census.gov/hhes/www/occupation.html

10. How do I find out information about the size stand ards?

 The Census Bureau does not define the Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards based on NAICS codes, but provides statistics that allow users to define business categories in any of several ways.  To learn more about the size statistics the Census Bureau collects, visit the Census Bureau website;    www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html .  If you are interested in finding information about the SBA size standards, visit the SBA website;     www.sba.gov/size/NAICS-cover-page.html click on “New Table of Small Business Size Standards based on NAICS codes” in the middle of the page.  Or you can contact them at:

Small Business Administration
409 Third Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20416
(202) 205-6618  

11. I have to file a INS form I-129W, how do I find the NAICS code I n eed?

The INS form I-129W asks for both the industry, the activity of the employing organization, and the occupation of the person. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code provides the classification of the industry of the employing organization, whereas, the Department of Labor provides the occupation code. For a better understanding and an example, visit the Census Bureau website; www.census.gov/epcd/www/ins129w.htm .  You can search for a NAICS code at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/epcd/srchnaics02defs , or use the search box in answer to question 4 above.

12. How can I purchase a copy of the NAICS manual?

The 1997 NAICS manual is available through National Technical Information Service (NTIS).  You may purchase a hardcover or softcover printed version or a CD-ROM version.  To obtain more information about purchasing the 1997 NAICS manual, visit NTIS website; http://www.ntis.gov/product/naics.htm .

13. If my question isn't here or I still need more information, what should I do?  

If your question isn't listed here, send an email to naics@census.gov .  Please include your telephone number in your email message in case we need to call you for more information.

This page was updated on 3-Mar-2014