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When doing research on industries, it is useful to obtain the NAICS code(s) for the industry in question.

NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) "is the standard 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."  Think of a NAICS code as a "license plate number" for an industry, used for data collection, taxation and regulation purposes.

Often times, the NAICS for an industry is listed in the records of databases such as IBISWorld.  Know too that databases like Business Source Complete and ABI / Inform also list NAICS codes in their respective records when an article discusses a particular industry. 

After learning an industry's NAICS code, you may use it across databases, government information, etc.


NAICS is the North American Industry Classification System, a standard implemented in 1997 for classifying industry, product, and establishment. Use this site to find your industry NAICS code. Click on the relevant code to read its description and to ensure that you have the right code.

IBIS World

Business Source Complete - Industry Profiles

One may also find Industry profiles using Business Source Complete.  Know, however, that there are profiles for industries in many countries. When searching for a profile of an industry in the United States for example, search for "United States" in the Title field.

Hoover's Industry Snapshots

Hoover's Industry Snapshots (from Nexis Uni)

Overviews of the key industries worldwide