NAICS vs. SIC: Head-to-Head

4-digit code 6-digit code
Groups industries and services into broad divisions (01 to 91) Classifies all economic activity into 20 industry sectors
Groups industries based on either demand or production Groups sectors into five goods-producing and 15 service sectors
Developed to collect, present, and analyze data Developed in cooperation with Canadian and Mexican statistical agencies

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Digit Designation
Digits 1 and 2 Primary business sector
Digit 3 Subsector
Digit 4 Industry group
Digit 5 Specific industry
Digit 6 Industry-specific designation for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Digit Designation
Digits 1 and 2 Broad division
Digits 3 and 4 Industry group and type

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can You Compare SIC Data with Current NAICS Data?

    No. SIC codes don’t directly convert to NAICS codes. A company under a particular SIC code may now be under a different NAICS code.

  • Which Code is Better to Use?

    It is important to have both the NAICS and SIC codes when you do business research since many resources might use only NAICS or only SIC codes. For example, some federal government agencies, state and local governments still use the SIC code.

    However, SIC codes couldn’t keep up with current industries, resulting in the development of the NAICS. It has since recognized over 350 new industries.

  • How do I find NAICS and SIC codes?

    You can use one of two ways to find SIC and NAICS codes:

    1. Search the official government SIC and NAICS manuals online. You can look up NAIC codes (via U.S. Census Bureau) and SIC codes (via the U.S. Department of Labor) online manuals.
    2. Locate a company profile for the company you are researching. Company profiles usually include its SIC and NAICS codes. Several companies operate under multiple industries and may have more than one code. A company’s primary SIC/NAICS codes are generally first in the listing.

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