While the descriptions and definitions of NAICS/SIC codes are standardized, the application of a particular code to a particular entity is not. Individual companies can choose their primary NAICS/SIC codes at their own discretion, and research firms may sort companies by varying codes based on their own criteria for analysis. Searching by NAICS or SIC in different databases may produce lists of different companies and competitors.
Finding Industry Classification Codes by Industry
Industry Classification Codes define or classify industries based on what they do and how they do it. Links to resources for the two industry codes most commonly used in the United States (NAICS and SIC) are listed below:
The U.S. Census Bureau's NAICS site includes definitions for each industry, background information, tables showing changes, and a comprehensive index. NAICS was adopted in 1997 to replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. It was developed jointly by the U.S. Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), Statistics Canada, and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia.
Browse the 1987 SIC manual on the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) site by structure or use the SIC Search link at the top of the page to search by keyword or by 2,3,4-digit SIC code. NAICS replaced the SIC in 1997 for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of economic statistics.
EBSCO Publishing created this tip page to help align SIC information to a comparable NAICS code using information found at the U.S. Census Bureau's NAICS web page. The page is in SIC code order with a link to an alternate view ordered by NAICS code.
NAICS/SIC Descriptive Tree Breakout
Knowing the full breakout will help you understand what level of analysis the Industry Research Reports, Financial Ratios, etc. are providing: