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Researching Industries & Businesses

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)


Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are four-digit numerical codes assigned by the U.S. government that categorize the industries to which companies belong, while also organizing industries by their business activities. SIC codes were created by the U.S. government in 1937 to classify and analyze economic activity across various industries and government agencies, and to promote uniformity in the presentation of statistical data collected by various government agencies. SIC codes have been adopted in places outside the United States, also.

Standard Industrial Classification codes have been replaced, for the most part, by the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Despite having been replaced, government agencies, including the SEC, and some companies still use SIC codes today.

Use the guide below to locate a SIC code for your research.


Locating SIC codes:


Step 1:

If your research requires you determine a specific SIC code, go to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual, within the U.S. Department of Labor website.



Step 2:

Once within the site, scroll through the individual divisions, until you have located the industry segment you are researching, for example, Division H: Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate.


Step 3:

Read through the list of Major Groups until you find one that fits you needs, for example, Major Group 63: Insurance Carriers. Click on its title.


Step 4:

Clicking on Major Group 63: Insurance Carriers yields seven results, including, for example, Industry Group 633: Fire, Marine, And Casualty Insurance.


Step 5:

What appears on the next webpage is a listing and description of industries within Industry Group 6331, which includes, for example, Automobile Insurance.