How Do I Find and Use a SIC/NAICS Code?

     The U.S. government uses two classification systems to categorize all businesses. The U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system came first, but is gradually being replaced by the North American Classification System (NAICS).

     The NAICS codes allow comparison of businesses and industries in all three NAFTA countries: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Many sources use these codes to organize industry information, making them an efficient way to find information about specific industries.

     For more information, visit

Why search for information using SIC/NAICS codes?
Searching by SIC and NAICS codes is an efficient way to find information about specific industries.

How do I find a SIC/NAICS code?
Search the Mint Global database:

  1. Click Search Companies
  2. Enter the company name, then click Display Results
  3. Click on the company name in the results
  4. Click the By Section tab
  5. Select Activities from the first drop-down menu and select Industry & Activities from the second drop-down menu

Search the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS Website

  1. On the main page, type 1-2 simple keywords in the second search box, and click on 2002 NAICS search (for example, coffee).
  2. Scan the “Index Entry” and “2002 U.S. NAICS Title” for descriptions that match your company or industry (for example, “Coffee shops, on premise brewing” or “Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars.”
  3. Click on the NAICS code in the middle column (722213).
  4. Read the definition and cross references to make sure the NAICS code matches your company or industry.
  5. If you need an SIC code, scan the Corresponding Index Entries column for a description that matches what you are looking for and select the appropriate SIC code (5812).

How can I use SIC/NAICS codes?
You can use SIC and NAICS on some web sites and to search many Management databases. Some allow you to use just the SIC code OR the NAICS code. Others allow you to use both.

     Use ZIP Code Business Patterns to find the number of business establishments in your zip code.

  1. Type in the ZIP Code (for example, 98102) next to “Zip Code Business Patterns (Enter ZIP Code)” and click on Go.
  2. Scroll down to find the beginning two numbers of your NAICS code. For example, “72” for “722110 Full-Service Restaurants”
  3. Click on Detail next to the appropriate code, the look for your NAICS code (722110).
  4. The count from the most recent survey is shown first. Use the drop down box at the top of the screen to select a different year.

     Limit Searches in Business Source Complete by NAICS code.

  1. Enter your search terms as usual (for example, marketing strategy).
  2. Scroll down to the Limit results to section and find the NAICS/Industry Code field.
  3. Enter your code (for example, 722110)
  4. Click Search at the bottom of the screen.


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