What Are NAICS Codes? The Impact on Business Funding & Credit

Are you a business owner seeking funding or credit? One critical factor that can impact your ability to secure financing is your company's NAICS code. But what exactly are NAICS codes, and how do they affect your business's financial prospects? In this article, we'll delve into the world of NAICS codes and explore their significance in the realm of business funding and credit.

Key Takeaways

  • NAICS codes provide a standardized classification of businesses for statistical agencies and are crucial for securing financing, credit, and government contracts.
  • Obtaining a NAICS code involves a self-selection process aided by tools provided by official agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau, and it must accurately reflect the primary activity of the business.
  • Having the correct NAICS code impacts a business’s funding opportunities and risk assessment by lenders, and compliance with IRS reporting requirements; it’s also significant for eligibility in government contracting.

Defining NAICS Codes: A Standardized Industry Classification System

NAICS, which stands for North American Industry Classification System, is a standardized coding system used by federal statistical agencies to classify businesses into specific industries. Developed in 1997 as a collaboration between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, NAICS codes provide a consistent framework for collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the business economy.

The Structure of NAICS Codes: A Hierarchical Approach

NAICS codes are comprised of six digits, organized in a hierarchical structure, with each digit representing a level of specificity. The first two digits designate the economic sector, the third digit represents the subsector, the fourth digit indicates the industry group, the fifth digit denotes the NAICS industry, and the sixth digit signifies the national industry. For example, a company with the NAICS code 541110 belongs to the "Offices of Lawyers" industry, which falls under the "Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services" sector.

How to Find and Assign NAICS Codes

Pinpointing your business’s specific NAICS code means you have to locate its unique niche within the broader economic landscape. This task requires a combination of self-assessment and consultation with authoritative sources like the U.S. Census Bureau as well as the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Self-Assigning NAICS Codes

Selecting a NAICS code is an internal decision based on your perception of what most accurately describes the main activity of your company.

Accurately selecting the NAICS code that best represents your business is crucial. An incorrect NAICS code can lead to missed funding opportunities or higher borrowing costs. When choosing your NAICS code, consider the following:

  1. Review the NAICS code descriptions and select the one that most closely aligns with your primary business activities.
  2. If your business operates in multiple industries, choose the NAICS code that represents your largest revenue source.
  3. Consult with industry associations, the U.S. Census Bureau, or professional advisors to ensure you're making the right choice.

Using Official Resources

Self-selection plays a crucial role in the determination of NAICS codes. It is not the only method available. The NAICS association provides comprehensive search tool designed to assist businesses in locating their applicable NAICS code.

By inputting business-related keywords into these tools, you can discover the corresponding code for your operations.

The Impact of NAICS Codes on Business Funding and Credit

Having pinpointed your NAICS code, you may wonder how this six-digit identifier impacts the financial future of your business. Its significance extends across various facets of business financing and creditworthiness. The NAICS code is instrumental in determining your qualification for loans and lines of credit, accessing government contracts, as well as adhering to IRS reporting mandates.

But what are the mechanics behind it? How does classifying your business under a specific industry using the NAICS system affect its financial opportunities?

Business Financing

Your business's NAICS code plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for various funding options and credit terms. Lenders and financial institutions often use NAICS codes to assess the risk associated with lending to businesses in specific industries.

Lenders sort these codes into distinct risk classifications that include tiers like preferred industries, those deemed normal risk or high risk — even sectors considered off-limits or prohibited entirely.

Government Contracting

The NAICS system is utilized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to set size standards which then influence whether a business qualifies for small business programs and opportunities available within government contracting.

Enhancing your likelihood of winning government contracts can be achieved through enrollment with SAM.gov, where you register using your specific NAICS code. Choosing an accurate NAICS code opens up access to extensive contracting options provided by the federal government, thereby promoting sustained growth for your enterprise.

The IRS And NAICS Codes: Compliance and Reporting

In addition to impacting your funding and credit prospects, your NAICS code also plays a role in your business's tax compliance. The IRS uses the code you select to compare your business tax returns to other businesses in your industry. If your tax deductions do not reasonably resemble those of other businesses in your industry, your company could be subject to an audit.

An accurate NAICS code is critical to:

  • Fulfilling required reporting obligations
  • Protecting against possible issues regarding compliance
  • Completing tax filings accurately
  • Securing eligibility for valuable tax credits
  • Upholding legal requirements and safety regulations that pertain specifically to your industry

High-Risk vs. Low-Risk NAICS Codes: Navigating the Landscape

To improve your chances of securing favorable funding and credit terms, it's essential to understand whether your business falls under a high-risk or low-risk NAICS code. High-risk industries typically have a higher likelihood of failure, inconsistent cash flow, or are more susceptible to economic fluctuations. On the other hand, low-risk industries, such as professional services (NAICS 54) and healthcare (NAICS 62), are generally more stable and have a lower risk of default, making them more attractive to lenders.

Factors Contributing to High-Risk NAICS Codes

Several factors can contribute to a business being classified as high-risk based on its NAICS code:

  1. Cash-intensive businesses: These businesses face challenges in verifying income and have a heightened risk of money laundering, making lenders more cautious about extending loans.
  2. Businesses with a higher chance of personal injury or property damage: The elevated potential for accidents or damages raises concerns about the business's ability to meet financial obligations.
  3. Businesses in industries with a high risk of payment default: Late-paying industries often face economic downturns or market fluctuations, impacting their ability to meet repayment obligations.
  4. Businesses in industries with low barriers to entry: The lack of regulation allows for increased competition, leading to over-saturation and thinner profit margins, making it challenging for businesses to sustain profitability.

Strategies for Businesses with High-Risk NAICS Codes

If your business operates in a high-risk industry, don't despair. There are still strategies you can employ to improve your funding and credit prospects:

  1. Build a strong credit history: Establish a track record of timely payments and responsible credit management to demonstrate your creditworthiness.
  2. Provide collateral: Offering assets as collateral can help mitigate the perceived risk associated with your industry.
  3. Seek alternative funding sources: Explore options such as invoice financing, equipment leasing, or merchant cash advances, which may have more lenient requirements.
  4. Emphasize your unique strengths: Highlight your company's competitive advantages, experienced management team, and solid financial projections to set yourself apart from industry stereotypes.

Stay Informed: Updates to the NAICS System

It's important to note that NAICS codes are subject to periodic revisions to reflect changes in the economy and the emergence of new industries. Stay informed about updates to the NAICS system and be prepared to adapt your business strategies accordingly. By staying proactive and understanding the implications of your NAICS code, you can position your business for success in securing the funding and credit you need to thrive.

Conclusion

In the world of business funding and credit, understanding NAICS codes is essential. They are part of the DNA of your business, a unique identifier that tells a story about your industry, your operations, and your economic impact. They can influence your ability to secure financing and credit, your eligibility for government contracts, and your compliance with IRS reporting requirements.

So, whether you’re a seasoned business owner or a budding entrepreneur, don’t overlook your NAICS code. Understand it, choose it wisely, and use it strategically. Because in the labyrinth of codes and numbers that make up the business landscape, your NAICS code is the backstage pass that can open doors to success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a NAICS code?

An example of a NAICS code is 33611, which represents the Automobile and Light Duty Motor Vehicle Manufacturing industry.

What is NAICS code for small business?

A small business is assigned a specific NAICS code that corresponds to the service or product it offers. To identify your business’s NAICS code, consult the list of codes available at the U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the NAICS code?

The NAICS, an acronym for the North American Industry Classification System, represents a numerical code utilized to monitor industry-related economic actions within North America.

How can NAICS codes affect business financing?

NAICS codes play a significant role in business financing as they guide lenders’ decisions regarding funding and risk evaluation, depending on the industry classification. Consequently, these codes can determine the allocation and quantity of financial support that a business acquires.

Can a business have multiple NAICS codes?

Certainly, a company is permitted to designate one NAICS code as its principal classification while also identifying several additional secondary NAICS codes.

Such an arrangement enables a fuller and more detailed classification of the firm’s various operations.

Are you a business owner seeking funding or credit? One critical factor that can impact your ability to secure financing is your company's NAICS code. But what exactly are NAICS codes, and how do they affect your business's financial prospects? In this article, we'll delve into the world of NAICS codes and explore their significance in the realm of business funding and credit.

Key Takeaways

  • NAICS codes provide a standardized classification of businesses for statistical agencies and are crucial for securing financing, credit, and government contracts.
  • Obtaining a NAICS code involves a self-selection process aided by tools provided by official agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau, and it must accurately reflect the primary activity of the business.
  • Having the correct NAICS code impacts a business’s funding opportunities and risk assessment by lenders, and compliance with IRS reporting requirements; it’s also significant for eligibility in government contracting.

Defining NAICS Codes: A Standardized Industry Classification System

NAICS, which stands for North American Industry Classification System, is a standardized coding system used by federal statistical agencies to classify businesses into specific industries. Developed in 1997 as a collaboration between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, NAICS codes provide a consistent framework for collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the business economy.

The Structure of NAICS Codes: A Hierarchical Approach

NAICS codes are comprised of six digits, organized in a hierarchical structure, with each digit representing a level of specificity. The first two digits designate the economic sector, the third digit represents the subsector, the fourth digit indicates the industry group, the fifth digit denotes the NAICS industry, and the sixth digit signifies the national industry. For example, a company with the NAICS code 541110 belongs to the "Offices of Lawyers" industry, which falls under the "Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services" sector.

How to Find and Assign NAICS Codes

Pinpointing your business’s specific NAICS code means you have to locate its unique niche within the broader economic landscape. This task requires a combination of self-assessment and consultation with authoritative sources like the U.S. Census Bureau as well as the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Self-Assigning NAICS Codes

Selecting a NAICS code is an internal decision based on your perception of what most accurately describes the main activity of your company.

Accurately selecting the NAICS code that best represents your business is crucial. An incorrect NAICS code can lead to missed funding opportunities or higher borrowing costs. When choosing your NAICS code, consider the following:

  1. Review the NAICS code descriptions and select the one that most closely aligns with your primary business activities.
  2. If your business operates in multiple industries, choose the NAICS code that represents your largest revenue source.
  3. Consult with industry associations, the U.S. Census Bureau, or professional advisors to ensure you're making the right choice.

Using Official Resources

Self-selection plays a crucial role in the determination of NAICS codes. It is not the only method available. The NAICS association provides comprehensive search tool designed to assist businesses in locating their applicable NAICS code.

By inputting business-related keywords into these tools, you can discover the corresponding code for your operations.

The Impact of NAICS Codes on Business Funding and Credit

Having pinpointed your NAICS code, you may wonder how this six-digit identifier impacts the financial future of your business. Its significance extends across various facets of business financing and creditworthiness. The NAICS code is instrumental in determining your qualification for loans and lines of credit, accessing government contracts, as well as adhering to IRS reporting mandates.

But what are the mechanics behind it? How does classifying your business under a specific industry using the NAICS system affect its financial opportunities?

Business Financing

Your business's NAICS code plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for various funding options and credit terms. Lenders and financial institutions often use NAICS codes to assess the risk associated with lending to businesses in specific industries.

Lenders sort these codes into distinct risk classifications that include tiers like preferred industries, those deemed normal risk or high risk — even sectors considered off-limits or prohibited entirely.

Government Contracting

The NAICS system is utilized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to set size standards which then influence whether a business qualifies for small business programs and opportunities available within government contracting.

Enhancing your likelihood of winning government contracts can be achieved through enrollment with SAM.gov, where you register using your specific NAICS code. Choosing an accurate NAICS code opens up access to extensive contracting options provided by the federal government, thereby promoting sustained growth for your enterprise.

The IRS And NAICS Codes: Compliance and Reporting

In addition to impacting your funding and credit prospects, your NAICS code also plays a role in your business's tax compliance. The IRS uses the code you select to compare your business tax returns to other businesses in your industry. If your tax deductions do not reasonably resemble those of other businesses in your industry, your company could be subject to an audit.

An accurate NAICS code is critical to:

  • Fulfilling required reporting obligations
  • Protecting against possible issues regarding compliance
  • Completing tax filings accurately
  • Securing eligibility for valuable tax credits
  • Upholding legal requirements and safety regulations that pertain specifically to your industry

High-Risk vs. Low-Risk NAICS Codes: Navigating the Landscape

To improve your chances of securing favorable funding and credit terms, it's essential to understand whether your business falls under a high-risk or low-risk NAICS code. High-risk industries typically have a higher likelihood of failure, inconsistent cash flow, or are more susceptible to economic fluctuations. On the other hand, low-risk industries, such as professional services (NAICS 54) and healthcare (NAICS 62), are generally more stable and have a lower risk of default, making them more attractive to lenders.

Factors Contributing to High-Risk NAICS Codes

Several factors can contribute to a business being classified as high-risk based on its NAICS code:

  1. Cash-intensive businesses: These businesses face challenges in verifying income and have a heightened risk of money laundering, making lenders more cautious about extending loans.
  2. Businesses with a higher chance of personal injury or property damage: The elevated potential for accidents or damages raises concerns about the business's ability to meet financial obligations.
  3. Businesses in industries with a high risk of payment default: Late-paying industries often face economic downturns or market fluctuations, impacting their ability to meet repayment obligations.
  4. Businesses in industries with low barriers to entry: The lack of regulation allows for increased competition, leading to over-saturation and thinner profit margins, making it challenging for businesses to sustain profitability.

Strategies for Businesses with High-Risk NAICS Codes

If your business operates in a high-risk industry, don't despair. There are still strategies you can employ to improve your funding and credit prospects:

  1. Build a strong credit history: Establish a track record of timely payments and responsible credit management to demonstrate your creditworthiness.
  2. Provide collateral: Offering assets as collateral can help mitigate the perceived risk associated with your industry.
  3. Seek alternative funding sources: Explore options such as invoice financing, equipment leasing, or merchant cash advances, which may have more lenient requirements.
  4. Emphasize your unique strengths: Highlight your company's competitive advantages, experienced management team, and solid financial projections to set yourself apart from industry stereotypes.

Stay Informed: Updates to the NAICS System

It's important to note that NAICS codes are subject to periodic revisions to reflect changes in the economy and the emergence of new industries. Stay informed about updates to the NAICS system and be prepared to adapt your business strategies accordingly. By staying proactive and understanding the implications of your NAICS code, you can position your business for success in securing the funding and credit you need to thrive.

Conclusion

In the world of business funding and credit, understanding NAICS codes is essential. They are part of the DNA of your business, a unique identifier that tells a story about your industry, your operations, and your economic impact. They can influence your ability to secure financing and credit, your eligibility for government contracts, and your compliance with IRS reporting requirements.

So, whether you’re a seasoned business owner or a budding entrepreneur, don’t overlook your NAICS code. Understand it, choose it wisely, and use it strategically. Because in the labyrinth of codes and numbers that make up the business landscape, your NAICS code is the backstage pass that can open doors to success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a NAICS code?

An example of a NAICS code is 33611, which represents the Automobile and Light Duty Motor Vehicle Manufacturing industry.

What is NAICS code for small business?

A small business is assigned a specific NAICS code that corresponds to the service or product it offers. To identify your business’s NAICS code, consult the list of codes available at the U.S. Census Bureau.

What is the NAICS code?

The NAICS, an acronym for the North American Industry Classification System, represents a numerical code utilized to monitor industry-related economic actions within North America.

How can NAICS codes affect business financing?

NAICS codes play a significant role in business financing as they guide lenders’ decisions regarding funding and risk evaluation, depending on the industry classification. Consequently, these codes can determine the allocation and quantity of financial support that a business acquires.

Can a business have multiple NAICS codes?

Certainly, a company is permitted to designate one NAICS code as its principal classification while also identifying several additional secondary NAICS codes.

Such an arrangement enables a fuller and more detailed classification of the firm’s various operations.

The rest of this article is exclusive content for Hansa members.

Thousands of other business owners just like yourself come to Hansa to level up their business.

Sign up below to get immediate access to this article as well as other premium content.

Use your business' legal name.
(If you're not sure, don't worry. You can change this later)
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Security Gurantee
This information will only be used by Hansa. Your information is encrypted and will not be shared with any third parties.

Already have an account?