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NAICS Definition

Supplier Power > NAICS Definition

NAICS Definition

NAICS Definition

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy.  The NAICS industry codes define establishments based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged.  NAICS codes are also used for administrative, contracting, and tax purposes.  NAICS is production oriented (not product oriented) and categorizes businesses with others that have similar methods of production.

SBA uses NAICS as a basis for its size standards.  Size standards using NAICS as their basis apply to all Federal government programs, including procurement.  When the Federal government intends to acquire goods or services, it identifies the NAICS code that describes the principal purpose of that procurement.  Your business may have myriad capabilities, and the NAICS code for a given procurement opportunity may not be the same as your primary NAICS code.  That will not keep you from bidding or making an offer, so long as you meet the size standard for the procurement and have the capacity to provide the goods or services.


Do I need an NAICS code for anything else?

You might find that many states, cities, and other political subdivisions (e.g., airport and bridge authorities) use or adapt SBA’s size standards based on NAICS for their own procurement programs.  Federal and non-federal entities may also use NAICS codes for administrative and tax purposes.  For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation provides reduced HAZMat registration fees for small businesses; but those businesses must identify their NAICS code when they apply for the reduced fee.  The United States Census Bureau and other Federal statistical agencies use NAICS codes for collecting and reporting economic data.

How do I find my NAICS code?

Visit the United States Census Bureau NAICS website to identify your NAICS code(s).  We recommend using a single word for a search term.  You can truncate your search term to get even more results, and then select from them the most appropriate for you.

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Joe Flynn

Joe Flynn is the founder of Lavante Inc. a leading provider of Supplier Information Management Services for Fortune 500 Companies. Supplier Power is a personal blog designed to help small businesses understand the complexities and requirements that large corporations have.

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