Why to know your business’ NAICS Codes?

This entry is part 13 of 15 in the series City Procurement

What are NAICS Codes?


A NAICS Code is a classification within the North American Industry Classification System. It’s used by “Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.” 


NAICS was constructed under the sponsorship of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and adopted in 1997 to replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. It was created jointly by the U.S. Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), Statistics Canada, and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, allowing a high level of comparability in business statistics for North American countries.


Several various governments and city agencies, trade associations and regulatory boards adopted NAICS’ classification system for internal needs, including NYC and NYS. Meaning that how your company classifies itself can determine if the City Agencies can find you if they are looking for an MBE and/or WBE that does the work you do. 


The U.S. Census Bureau is where you can find the latest information about NAICS’ revision plans, as well as access to different reference files and tools. “Additional information on the background and development of NAICS is available in the History section of this website.”


NAICS Codes are required also for various levels of state and federal compliance for businesses. Their accuracy’s pivotal to preventing unwanted federal repercussions.


How do you get a NAICS Code?


As it’s a self-assigned system, no one can give you a NAICS Code. Your company is in charge of selecting the code that best illustrates your primary business activity. You then use this code when it is requested.


If your business activities include more than one unique line of business, you may want to use more than one NAICS Code. 


Remember that your NAICS Code(s) are reflective of the core work you do – your business activities. If you’ve accidentally assigned yourself incorrect codes in the past, you can reach out to City Agencies and correct inaccurate codes.


Keep reading to find your NAICS Codes!



NAICS Code 23 – Construction


NAICS Code 23 comprises all businesses that are mainly engaged in constructing buildings or engineering projects. Establishments primarily involved in the preparation of job fields for new construction and in subdividing land for sale as building sites – are also part of this sector. 


“Construction work done may include new work, additions, alterations, or maintenance and repairs. Activities of these establishments generally are managed at a fixed place of business, but they usually perform construction activities at multiple project sites.”


Production responsibilities for construction sites in the industry are specified through:


      1. Prime Contracts: Contracts with the owners of construction projects
      2. Subcontracts: Contracts with other construction establishments


Click here to gain more in-depth knowledge on establishments primarily engaged in the various types of Contracts.


Below outlines the variations in the production functions of the Construction industry, this sector is divided into three subsectors:


      1. NAICS Code – 236 Construction of Buildings, “comprises establishments of the General Contractor type and for-sale builders involved in the construction of buildings.” 
      2. NAICS Code – 237 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, “comprises establishments involved in the construction of engineering projects.” 
      3. NAICS Code – 238 Specialty Trade Contractors, “comprises establishments engaged in specialty trade activities generally needed in the construction of all types of buildings.”


There may be construction companies’ NAICS Codes that are hard to find because there’s no official NAICS Code named exactly as the company categorizes itself. For example, there’s no specific code for “Marine Construction”. However,  it’s categorized under NAICS Code – 237990 Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction.


Look up your NAICS code following the below instructions: 


  1. Go to the US Census Bureau website
  2. Click on the tab “Find a code” and select “NAICS Lookup
  3. Type the keywords “Electrical Contractor” in the 2022 NAICS Search tab.


That’s it! You’ll find your NAICS Code – 238210 Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors with all industry details. 


Want to know more about how & where to focus your time and efforts to grow your business? Schedule a meeting with us to discuss how we can help you to get your processes in line with your goals.

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Read and learn more about City Procurement in our blog posts!

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