What Are NAICS Codes?
A NAICS code is a self-assigned six-digit code. These codes group businesses into sectors, subsectors, and industries.
NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System, which is used to classify businesses and companies within the United States, Canada, and Mexico in order to help monitor and analyze economic activity.
Do I Need a NAICS Code?
Not every state requires a NAICS code for forming an LLC. It is important to know if your state requires one, or you may be unable to continue with formation.
States that require a NAICS code for formation include:
How Do You Use NAICS Codes?
These codes also help better your chance of obtaining loans from commercial lenders who make industry comparisons to determine and identify the best small businesses for their loans.
How Does the Government Use NAICS codes?
The government uses NAICS codes for several regulatory and management purposes. This classification scheme is used to identify subcategories to properly determine which businesses qualify for a small business loan through the SBA.
Other purposes include the following:
- Federal and state governments use codes from businesses in all industries, including public administration, to ensure compliance on various levels, including administrative, contracting, and taxes.
- NAICS codes help the government to properly collect, organize, and analyze information on various industries and also help in publishing statistical data related to the economy.
How Do I Get My NAICS Code?
It is easy to get a NAICS code that matches your business type. The following instructions will help you find your NAICS code quickly so you can have it when setting up your LLC:
- Visit the NAICS website
- In the “NAICS Search” bar, search for your desired industry (e.g., restaurant, plumbing, etc.)
- Select the NAICS title that best describes your business’s activity to learn more about that particular code
Note: In a case where multiple activities are conducted by your business, you can select a secondary NAICS code, as more than one code can be selected by a single business.
If you still need help finding your specific code, you can call the US Census Bureau at 1-888-756-2427 for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I given a NAICS code?
No. NAICS codes are self-assigned by the business itself.
How do I select my NAICS code?
You can use the NAICS website to help find the right NAICS code to fit your business’s activities.
To see an example of the NAICS codes being used by a particular type of company/industry, check out the US Company Lookup Tool.
Where do I find my NAICS code?
To find your NAICS code, visit the US Census Bureau website and search for the NAICS title closest to your business. Alternatively, you can contact the US Census Bureau at 1-888-756-2427 for assistance.
Can I have more than one NAICS code?
Yes. While most businesses only have one primary NAICS code, you can select more than one code if you have multiple business activities or products.
Do you have to register with the NAICS Association?
No, you can find a NAICS code without registering with the NAICS Association. The choice to register with the NAICS Association is completely optional.
Can I have a NAICS code even though I have a SIC code?
Yes. Having a NAICS code does not affect any SIC codes you may have, and both codes can be held at the same time.
What are some forms of NAICS codes?
It is possible to see the codes in several forms, from two digits all the way to six digits.
The first two digits of a NAICS code represent the economic sector of your business, the third digit identifies its subsector, the fourth digit designates the business’s industry group, and the fifth and sixth digits designate the NAICS industry and the national industry, respectively.
For example, a real estate broker’s NAICS code is 531210, or “Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers.”