SIC and NAICS Codes


What are SIC and NAICS codes?

SIC codes, or Standard Industrial Classification, are four digit codes used to categorize business activities.  The hierarchical classification system was developed to ease collection and analysis of data and to help provide consistency in statistical data collected by agencies of the federal government.  The system divides activities 11 divisions, then into 83 2-digit major groups, next into 416 3-digit industry groups, and finally into 1,005 4-digit industries.The codes were developed in 1937 but were no longer updated after 1987.  In 1997, the SIC system was all but replaced by the NAICS system of classification. 

The NAICS system, or North American Industry Classification System, was developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and adopted in 1997 to replace the SIC manual. It was developed cooperatively by the U.S. Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), Statistics Canada and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia, to allow for better comparability in business statistics among the North American countries.  The NAICS system used six-digit codes at the most detailed industry level. The first five digits are usually but not always the same in all three countries. The first two digits designate the largest business sector, the third digit designates the subsector, the fourth digit designates the industry group, the fifth digit designates the NAICS industries, and the sixth digit designates the national industries. 

The sources below will help you search for codes as well as search for data using SIC and/or NAICS codes.

Starting Points

The sources below are places where you can search for an SIC code or NACIS code.

SIC Search Online

Industrial Classification Codes: All companies are classified by the federal government into categories called industry classifications based on the general product of business line of the company. This categorization system assigns every business an SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code and/or a North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code. The industry classification allow you to compare like companies and industries.Directories may contain one or both of these codes.

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North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

Resource provides the latest information on plans for NAICS revisions, as well as access to various NAICS reference files and tools.

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SIC Codes to NAICS

SIC Codes to NAICS

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This tool will help you find the equivalent NAICS code for an SIC code.


You can search the databases listed below by industry classification codesABI as well as by keyword to find information.  

ABI/INFORM Collection

The business research database features thousands of full-text journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics periodicals such as the Economist, country-and industry-focused reports, and downloadable data. Its international coverage gives researchers a complete picture of companies and business trends around the world. Comparable to EBSCOhost Business Source Complete.

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Entrepreneurship Database

This database bridges theory with practice, covering a wide spectrum of resources useful to educators, researchers, students and practitioners. Content ranges from the scholarly - including journals, dissertations, working papers and conference proceedings - to a full toolkit of practical guides, templates, forms, sample business plans and tips from successful entrepreneur in a wide range of formats - from video to downloadable Word and Excel files, as well as traditional text and PDFs.

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Key Business Ratios

(KBR) provides immediate online access to competitive benchmarking data. This powerful tool lets researchers examine industry benchmarks compiled from D&B®’s database of public and private companies, featuring 14 key business ratios (users choose a one-year or three-year set of ratios) for public and private companies in 800 lines of business.

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A comprehensive collection of Industry Market Research. IBISWorld is a powerful business tool to learn about existing clients or potential clients’ core industries of involvement & how changes to those industries can have an impact on you or your organization.

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Mergent Online

Mergent Online, source for global business and financial information on over 10,000 U.S. public companies, and 17,000+ non-U.S. public companies, as well as extensive corporate and municipal bond, UIT, and dividend information.

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ProQuest Central

This database serves as the central resource for researchers at all levels. Covering more than 160 subjects areas, ProQuest Central is the largest aggregated database of periodical content. This award-winning online reference resource features a highly-respected, diversified mix of content including scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, books, newspapers, reports and videos. Comparable to EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete.

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Data-Axle Reference Solutions

Reference and research tool providing instant, real-time access to accurate, in-depth information on 24 million U.S. businesses and 235 million U.S. residents. ReferenceUSA makes it faster and easier to find new business opportunities, research executives and companies, find news articles, conduct job searches, research papers, locate addresses and phone numbers, conduct market research and much more.

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