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NAICS Codes

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One tool you can use to help government contracting personnel locate your company is selecting NAICS codes for posting in your CCR records. NAICS codes may not win you any business by themselves but selecting the right ones will keep you from being excluded from opportunities.

General

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are codes used by the Federal government to classify businesses. NAICS was first developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is now available through the U.S. Census Bureau. The codes were originally developed in 1997 and last updated in 2007. The primary purpose of the codes is to allow for statistical data to be collected, analyzed and published on businesses throughout the economy. There are over 1000 NAICS codes to consider.

Contracting and purchasing personnel use these codes when researching potential suppliers. They use the Dynamics Search Tool for searching CCR to find companies fitting a particular NAICS code. If a relevant NAICS code is not in your CCR profile then your record will not be displayed to the contracting officer.

What Are NAICS Codes?

NAICS codes are six digit numbers unique to a specific industry type. The first two numbers specify a general industry segment such as Agriculture (11), Real Estate (53) and Health Care and Social Assistance (62). The remaining numbers specify the specific industry. A few examples of six digit codes:
  • 236115 - New Single-Family Housing Construction (except Operative Builders)
  • 238160 - Roofing Contractors
  • 311811 - Retail Bakeries
  • 339950 - Sign Manufacturing
  • 541860 - Direct Mail Advertising
  • 812331 - Linen Supply

Locating Relevant Codes

There are two ways to find the codes for your business – NAICS codes search and code manual. Both means are on-line at the U.S. Census Bureau. The keyword search method tends to be the easiest as you can enter keywords instead of looking many descriptions to find the right ones. Hint – as you find relevant codes write down the code and the NAICS title. You will need the codes to enter into CCR and the title for many proposal forms.

First go to the Census Bureau NAICS site.

To use searching there is a search text entry box on the left. Use the 2007 codes search box. Enter a keyword describing what your business does and click on the 2007 NAICS Search button. For example, a pallet manufacturer could enter pallet in the search box. There will be eleven codes returned covering wood pallets, metal pallets, and pallet rental. Pallet rental or leasing is code 532490 and if you click on the code more information will be displayed. Now you see that the title for code 532490 is Other Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing. NAICS codes can also be found by using the tables under the menu heading, Downloads / Reference Files/ Tools. Click on 2007 NAICS and the table of two digit codes is displayed. Click on a two digit code to see all of the codes under this industry group. You can also download all the NAICS codes and definitions from selections under the two digit code table.

Adding To Your CCR Record

CCR allows a company to list up to 1000 NAICS codes. Once you have determined the proper codes for your company log in to your CCR record. Skip to the NAICS code box and enter the codes you have selected. The order entered makes no difference but it may be easier to check the codes entered if they are in numerical order. Submit the updated CCR record.

Conclusion

Locate as many NAICS codes as you can that apply to your business as this gives you the best chance of appearing in a purchasing agents search. Determine one primary NAICS code for your business as some forms will ask for this code. Also determine your top five NAICS codes as some forms allow you to enter several codes for your business but not a long list.
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