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Industry Research

What are NAICS Codes?

Industry codes are numerical codes used to consistently describe an industry.

Different words and phrases can be used to describe the same concept.  For example, the terms fitness center, gym, exercise center, and athletic club can all be used to describe a place where people go to work out. If you search a business database for the term "fitness center," you may miss sources that use one of the other terms to describe the same concept.

NAICS codes provide a way to consistently describe industries. Using a NAICS code to search databases can help ensure that you're finding industry information, regardless of the term used to describe it.


Using NAICS Codes to Search Databases

Once you've found a NAICS code (or codes), you can search for articles, research reports, industry profiles and more!

Many business databases allow you to search for articles and reports using NAICS codes.  If you don't see the option to search by NAICS, check the advanced search features in the database.

Some companies may operate in more than one industry, and may therefore be categorized by multiple NAICS codes. If you see more than one code listed for a company, choose the code that best matches or represents the industry you are researching.

If you are struggling to find a NAICS code for a lesser-known company, try searching for a competitor that is well-known. If the company has the same functions, you can probably bet that the code will work for your company as well.

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