NAICS The purpose of the NAICS is to classify businesses into industries, groups, and subsectors. It stands for North American Industry Classification System and was created in 1997 to replace the SIC system.

SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification System. It was created in the 1930’s, and although it has been officially replaced by the NAICS, it is still used in many databases either on its own or in coordination with the NAICS.

There are plenty of online NAICS lookup tools, but to avoid spammy sites, and potentially paying for a tool that is free, we recommend using the actual NAICS manual put out by the U.S. Census Bureau.  You can obtain a copy of this manual through the U.S. Census Bureau.  For your convenience, we’ve included a copy that you can download for free at the bottom of the page. 

To look up a NAICS code, simply download the official 2022 NAICS Manual, and use the “control F” function on your keyboard to search for an industry name. 

I’ve included a few examples of how to look up the NAICS code for your business or a specific industry:

How to look up the NAICS code for trucking:

  1. Download the NAICS Manual
  2. Hit the control and “F” button at the same time on your keyboard
  3. Type the word “trucking” in the search bar that appears.

If you want to look up the NAICS Code for a restaurant, follow the same process but search instead for “restaurant.”  

  1. Download the NAICS Manual
  2. Hit the control button and “F” button at the same time on my keyboard
  3. Type the word “restaurant” in the search bar that appears.

A common question is, “is it possible to do a NAICS code lookup by company name.”  The NAICS Manual does not provide the ability to do NAICS code lookup by name. It also does not provide the ability to obtain a list of companies by class code. There are other resources for this, however.  Depending on the size and other factors of the company or companies you are researching, this data may be available through various paid search options. Reference U.S.A. is a great free tool for NAICS research. You can access by registering with your local public library card.   

The NAICS number can be used in a number of different ways. Businesses in industries such as insurance may use the NAICS system for classifying, computing, and pricing risk. They can also be used to identify different business activities within a company, research financial benchmarking data within specific industries, or identify competitors or prospective customers.

At Camargo Insurance, for example, one of our areas of expertise is restaurant insurance.  Using NAICS codes and other tools such as Reference U.S.A. we can identify the specific types of bars and restaurants that are a great fit for our bar and restaurant insurance program, and create a list of them.  Our bar and restaurant insurance program is nationwide, and NAICS codes could also be used to help identify potential competitors within different geographic areas. 

Download NAICS Manual