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ENTR 2P51: Entrepreneurship Basics

Sources & strategies for feasibility analysis & entrepreneurial startups.

How to look up NAICS Codes

You should identify the industry that your startup company would operate in by using a standard industry classification code such as NAICS.

What is NAICS?

  • NAICS is the acronym for the North American Industry Classification System.
  • It was developed jointly by Canada, the US, and Mexico to describe economic activity and currently divides the economy into:
    • 20 sectors (2-digit codes)
    • 102 subsectors (3-digit codes)
    • 322 industry groups (4-digit codes)
    • 708 industries (5-digit codes)
    • 923 Canadian industries (6-digit codes).
  • NAICS codes are comparable across Canada, the US, and Mexico at the 5 digit code level. Note: unique national industries will have a 6 digit code.


NAICSNAICS Canada 2017

You should first look up the NAICS Canada industry classification code, which is used mainly in Statistics Canada databases and publications. You can browse NAICS by sector. 



As some Business Databases use the US version of the NAICS manual, it is also helpful to be able to cross-reference your NAICS code there, as the numbers can be slightly different.  In addition, as the US economy is vastly larger than the Canadian, they have a more comprehensive classification system.‚Äč You can use the keyword search to identify relevant codes, or browse NAICS by Sector.

Help - There's no NAICS code for my industry!

Although the NAICS Canada manual is updated every five years, it still doesn't have specific codes for the Smartphone or Mobile Apps Industry.

Here are some suggestions for related industries:

511211 Software publishers (except video game publishers)

519130 Internet publishing and broadcasting search portals

541514 Computer systems design and related services

541515 Video game design and development services.