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Industries Research Guide

The basics

Does your industry have a North American Industry Classification System code (NAICS)

  • Yes: industry information should not be too hard to find (i.e., it's an established, more traditional industry).   
  • No: your industry might be too small or too new to classify. 
    • If it's too small, try gleaning information from the broader industry sector. 
    • For new industries, trade associations and trade journals might help.

The Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC)

  • Predecessor of NAICS, although still in use by some resources.  

International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC)

  • Popular international industry classification system
  • Maintained by the Statistics Division of the United Nations

Primary and secondary industries

  • Big companies can often be involved with more than one industry.  When this occurs, a company is usually assigned a Primary NAICS and/or Primary SIC code.