NAICS Codes for LLCs

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If you’re forming an LLC with one of our free 50-state LLC guides, there’s a chance the state where you are filing will ask for an NAICS Code.

Note: It’s best to form your LLC in your home state, or in the state where your business/real estate is located. Forming your LLC out-of-state could end up costing you a lot more money. If you haven’t seen our “best state” video yet, make sure to check it out: What’s the Best state to form an LLC?

What is an NAICS Code?

An NAICS Code (North American Industry Classification System) is used by government agencies to identify your LLC’s line of business and activities. It’s mostly used for statistical purposes.

Some states (like Alaska, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and New Mexico) will ask for your NAICS Code.

It’s optional in some states, and in other states, it’s a requirement.

NAICS Code Lookup Instructions for your LLC

You can search for your LLC’s NAICS code here: https://www.naics.com/search/

You can either search by keyword or browse by industry.

To search by keyword, in the “NAICS Keyword Search” box, enter the first word of your business industry (ex: “restaurant”, “landscape”, “retail”, “real estate”, etc.) and then click “Submit”. Scroll through the list until you find your industry and its NAICS Code.

Alternatively, to browse by industry, just scroll underneath the search box and you’ll see a list of industries which you can click on.

If you can’t find your exact industry, just use the closest thing to it.

If you need help determining the NAICS Code for your LLC, you can contact the US Census Bureau at 1-888-756-2427 for assistance. This page also has answers to frequently asked questions.

What Should I list as my LLC’s purpose?

The rules around what to list for your LLC’s business purpose depend on the state where you are filing.

For details on your state’s requirements, check out our free 50-state LLC guides.

Some states allow for a “general purpose”. Example: “The purpose of this LLC is to engage in any and all lawful activity under the laws of the State of {enter state name}.”

If your state allows general purpose, then you can use the above text.

If not, you’ll need to list a few words or sentences about what your LLC does. It doesn’t have to be extremely specific, and you are not going to be forced to do this forever.

You can always change the purpose of your LLC at any time.

You can enter just a few words, (ex: “pizza shop”, “real estate investing”, “landscaping”, etc.), or a short sentence (ex: “restoration of old cars”, “life coaching services and products”, etc.)

What if I can’t find an NAICS code that matches my LLC’s activities?

Again, if you can’t find your exact industry, just use the closest thing to it.

If you need help determining the NAICS Code for your LLC, you can contact the US Census Bureau at 1-888-756-2427 for assistance. This page also has answers to frequently asked questions.

References

https://www.naics.com/history-naics-code/

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
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Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

2 Comments

  1. Alex January 3, 2017

    Matt, thank you for sharing this information. This is my dilemma as I live in the state of NH.

    I want to form an LLC as an umbrella LLC that will cover my 3 small business: Photography, clothing retail, and baby product.

    What NAICS do you recommend for those 3? “General Purpose” ?
    I can’t find the closest one that will fit those 3 as one is Consumer service, and the other one is Product.

    And I don’t think “Holding company” will do because 3 of them are Sole proprietorships.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 4, 2017

      Hi Alex, awesome man! Thanks for the kind words :) When you say “umbrella LLC”, do you mean the LLC owns other LLCs? Or the LLC owns Sole Proprietorships? If the second, there is no such thing as an LLC owning Sole Proprietorships. It sounds like what you’re doing is you have an LLC which engages in different types of business activities, is that correct? If that’s the case, I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to find a “catch all” NAICS code. It’s not super important. It’s mostly used for business/economy statistics. I’d just list the code related the business’s primary activity (example: photography). Hope that helps! Let me know if you need anything else.

      reply

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