North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2017 Version 2.0

11 - Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, harvesting timber, harvesting fish and other animals from their natural habitats and providing related support activities.

Establishments primarily engaged in agricultural research or that supply veterinary services are not included in this sector.

21 - Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in extracting naturally occurring minerals. These can be solids, such as coal and ores; liquids, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas. The term mining is used in the broad sense to include quarrying, well operations, milling (for example, crushing, screening, washing, or flotation) and other preparation customarily done at the mine site, or as a part of mining activity. Establishments engaged in exploration for minerals, development of mineral properties and mining operations are included in this sector. Establishments performing similar activities, on a contract or fee basis, are also included.

22 - Utilities

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating electric, gas and water utilities. These establishments generate, transmit, control and distribute electric power; distribute natural gas; treat and distribute water; operate sewer systems and sewage treatment facilities; and provide related services, generally through a permanent infrastructure of lines, pipes and treatment and processing facilities.

23 - Construction

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in constructing, repairing and renovating buildings and engineering works, and in subdividing and developing land. These establishments may operate on their own account or under contract to other establishments or property owners. They may produce complete projects or just parts of projects. Establishments often subcontract some or all of the work involved in a project, or work together in joint ventures. Establishments may produce new construction, or undertake repairs and renovations to existing structures.

A construction establishment may be the only establishment of an enterprise, or one of several establishments of an integrated real estate enterprise engaged in the land assembly, development, financing, building and sale of large projects.

There are substantial differences in the types of equipment, work force skills, and other inputs required by establishments in this sector. To highlight these differences and variations in the underlying production functions, this sector is divided into three subsectors. Establishments are distinguished initially between those that undertake projects that require several different construction activities (known as trades) to be performed, and establishments that specialize in one trade.

The former are classified in subsectors 236 Construction of buildings and 237 Heavy and civil engineering construction, depending upon whether they are primarily engaged in the construction of buildings or in heavy construction and civil engineering projects. Establishments in these subsectors complete projects using their own labour force, by subcontracting, usually to trade contractors, or a combination of own account and subcontracting activities. Establishments classified in these subsectors are known by a variety of designations, such as general contractor, design-builder, speculative builder, operative builder and construction manager. The designation depends on the scope of the projects they undertake, the degree of responsibility and risk that they assume, the type of structure that they produce, and whether they work on contract for an owner or on their own account.

General contractors typically work under contract to a client (the owner of the land and the building or structure to be constructed), and undertake projects that require several specialized construction activities to be performed. Often the general contractor will subcontract some of the specialized tasks to other establishments.

Design-builders are similar to general contractors. However, in a design-build project a single contract is signed with the owner that makes the contractor responsible for providing the architectural and engineering designs. The design-builder therefore is responsible for the design of the project as well as its construction.

Construction establishments that build on their own account, for sale to others, are known as speculative builders, operative builders or merchant builders. They are most often engaged in the construction of residential buildings.

Construction managers provide oversight and scheduling services to the owner, for the most part during the actual construction process. This type of service is sometimes referred to as agency construction management, to distinguish it from a type of general contracting known as at-risk construction management. On the other hand, project management, which is a turnkey-type service involving the entire project, including feasibility studies, the arranging of financing, and the management of the contract bidding and selection process, is classified in 54133 Engineering services when it is the primary activity of an establishment.

Establishments that specialize in one particular construction activity, or trade, are generally classified in subsector 238 Specialty trade contractors. However, in order to conform to the generally accepted distinctions made by construction businesses themselves, some types of specialized establishments involved in road building and civil engineering are classified in subsector 237 Heavy and civil engineering construction.

Subsector 238, Specialty trade contractors, comprises establishments engaged in trade activities generally needed in the construction of buildings and structures, such as masonry, painting, or electrical work. Specialty trade contractors usually work under contract to another construction establishment but, especially in renovation and repair construction, they may contract directly with the owner of the property.

A significant amount of construction work is performed by enterprises that are primarily engaged in some business other than construction, for these enterprises' own use, using employees and equipment of the enterprise. This activity is not included in the construction sector unless the construction work performed is the primary activity of a separate establishment of the enterprise. However, if separate establishments do exist, they are classified in the construction sector.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • maintenance of rights of way for power, communication and pipe lines; and cleaning building exteriors, after construction (See 56 Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services)
    • manufacturing and installing building equipment, such as power boilers; manufacturing pre-fabricated buildings (See 31-33 Manufacturing)
    • operating highways, streets and bridges (See 48-49 Transportation and warehousing)
    • project management services, when it is a primary activity (See 541330 Engineering services)

31-33 - Manufacturing

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in the chemical, mechanical or physical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These products may be finished, in the sense that they are ready to be used or consumed, or semi-finished, in the sense of becoming a raw material for an establishment to use in further manufacturing. Related activities, such as the assembly of the component parts of manufactured goods; the blending of materials; and the finishing of manufactured products by dyeing, heat-treating, plating and similar operations are also treated as manufacturing activities. Manufacturing establishments are known by a variety of trade designations, such as plants, factories or mills.

Manufacturing establishments may own the materials which they transform or they may transform materials owned by other establishments. Manufacturing may take place in factories or in workers' homes, using either machinery or hand tools.

Units that completely outsource the transformation process but own the input materials are classified to the manufacturing sector. Units that completely outsource the transformation process but do not own the materials are classified to merchant wholesalers in Sector 41 Wholesale trade. These units are in fact buying the completed goods from the producer with the intention to resell it. These units may design the goods being manufactured, and may have some say in the manufacturing process.

Certain activities involving the transformation of goods are classified in other sectors. Some examples are post-harvest activities of agricultural establishments, such as crop drying; logging; the beneficiating of mineral ores; the production of structures by construction establishments; and various activities conducted by retailers, such as meat cutting and the assembly of products such as bicycles and computers.

Sales branches or offices (but not retail stores) maintained by manufacturing, refining, or mining enterprises apart from their plants or mines for the purpose of marketing their products are included in Sector 41 Wholesale trade as merchant wholesalers.

41 - Wholesale trade

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in wholesaling merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in the distribution of goods. Many wholesalers are organized to sell merchandise in large quantities to retailers, and business and institutional clients. However, some wholesalers, in particular those that supply non-consumer capital goods, sell merchandise in single units to final users.

Sales of capital goods or durable non-consumer goods used in the production of goods and services, such as farm machinery and equipment, heavy duty trucks, and industrial machinery, are always included in wholesale trade.

Wholesalers sell merchandise to other businesses and normally operate from a warehouse or office. These warehouses and offices are characterized by having little or no display of merchandise. In addition, neither the design nor the location of the premises is intended to solicit walk-in traffic. Wholesalers do not normally use advertising directed to the general public. Customers are generally reached initially via telephone, in-person marketing, or by specialized advertising that may include Internet and other electronic means. Follow-up are either vendor-initiated or client initiated, generally based on previous sales, and typically exhibit strong ties between sellers and buyers.

This sector comprises two main types of wholesalers: merchant wholesalers that sell goods on own account and wholesale electronic markets, agents, and brokers that arrange sales and purchases for others generally for a commission or fee.

Merchants wholesalers

Merchant wholesalers buy and sell merchandise on their own account, that is, they take title to the goods they sell. They generally operate from warehouse or office locations and they may ship from their own inventory or arrange for the shipment of goods directly from the supplier to the client. In addition to the sale of goods, they may provide, or arrange for the provision of, logistics, marketing and support services, such as packaging and labelling, inventory management, shipping, handling of warranty claims, in-store or co-op promotions, and product training.

Merchants wholesalers are known by a variety of trade designations depending on their relationship with suppliers or customers, or the distribution method they employ. Examples include wholesale merchants, wholesale distributors, drop shippers, rack-jobbers, import-export merchants, and banner wholesalers.

Included as merchant wholesalers are sales branches or offices (but not retail stores) maintained by manufacturing, refining, or mining enterprises apart from their plants or mines for the purpose of marketing their products.

Merchant wholesalers also include units that completely outsource the transformation process but do not own the input materials. These units are in fact buying the completed good from the producer with the intention to resell it. These units may design the goods being manufactured, and may have some say in the manufacturing process. On the other hand, units that completely outsource the transformation process but own the inputs are classified to the manufacturing sector.

The first eight subsectors of wholesale trade comprise merchant wholesalers. The grouping of these establishments into industry groups and industries is based on the merchandise line or lines supplied by the wholesaler.

Business-to business electronic markets, and agents and brokers

Business-to business electronic markets, and wholesale trade agents and brokers arrange for the purchase or sale of goods owned by others, generally for a commission or fee. They are known as business-to-business (B2B) electronic markets, wholesale trade agents and brokers, commission merchants, import-export agents and brokers, auction companies, and manufacturer's representatives. These establishments operate from offices and generally do not own or handle the goods they sell.

44-45 - Retail trade

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise; retailers are therefore organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. This sector comprises two main types of retailers, store and non-store retailers. Their main characteristics are described below.

Store retailers

Store retailers operate fixed point-of-sale locations, located and designed to attract a high volume of walk-in customers. In general, retail stores have extensive displays of merchandise and use mass-media advertising to attract customers. They typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption, but some also serve businesses and institutions. These include establishments such as office supplies stores, computer and software stores, gasoline stations, building material dealers, plumbing supplies stores and electrical supplies stores.

In addition to selling merchandise, some types of store retailers are also engaged in the provision of after-sales services, such as repair and installation. For example, new automobile dealers, electronic and appliance stores and musical instrument and supplies stores often provide repair services, while floor covering stores and window treatment stores often provide installation services. As a general rule, establishments engaged in retailing merchandise and providing after sales services are classified in this sector.

Catalogue sales showrooms, gasoline service stations, and mobile home dealers are treated as store retailers.

Non-store retailers

Non-store retailers, like store retailers, are organized to serve the general public, but their retailing methods differ. They reach customers and market merchandise with methods such as, the broadcasting of infomercials, the broadcasting and publishing of direct-response advertising, the publishing of traditional and electronic catalogues, door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, temporary displaying of merchandise (stalls) and distribution by vending machines.

The methods of transaction and delivery of merchandise vary by type of non-store retailers. For example, non-store retailers that reach their customers using information technologies can receive payment at the time of purchase or at the time of delivery, and the delivery of the merchandise may be done by the retailer or by a third party, such as the post office or a courier. In contrast, non-store retailers that reach their customers by door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, temporary displaying of merchandise (stalls) and vending machines typically receive payment and deliver the merchandise to the customer at the time of the purchase.

Non-store retailers also include establishments engaged in the home delivery of products such as home heating oil dealers and newspaper delivery companies.

48-49 - Transportation and warehousing

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in transporting passengers and goods, warehousing and storing goods, and providing services to these establishments. The modes of transportation are road (trucking, transit and ground passenger), rail, water, air and pipeline. These are further subdivided according to the way in which businesses in each mode organize their establishments. National post office and courier establishments, which also transport goods, are included in this sector. Warehousing and storage establishments are subdivided according to the type of service and facility that is operated.

Many of the establishments in this sector are structured as networks, with activities, workers, and physical facilities distributed over an extensive geographic area.

51 - Information and cultural industries

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing and distributing (except by wholesale and retail methods) information and cultural products. Establishments providing the means to transmit or distribute these products or providing access to equipment and expertise for processing data are also included.

The unique characteristics of information and cultural products, and of the processes involved in their production and distribution, distinguish this sector from the goods-producing and services-producing sectors.

The value of these products lies in their information, educational, cultural or entertainment content, not in the format in which they are distributed. Most of these products are protected from unlawful reproduction by copyright laws. Only those possessing the rights to these works are authorized to reproduce, alter, improve and distribute them. Acquiring and using these rights often involves significant costs.

The intangible nature of the content of information and cultural products allows for their distribution in various forms. For example, a movie can be shown at a movie theatre, on a television broadcast, through video on demand, or rented at a local video store; a sound recording can be aired on radio, embedded in multi-media products or sold at a record store; software can be bought at retail outlets or downloaded from an electronic bulletin board; a newspaper can be purchased at a newsstand or received on-line. In addition, improvements in information technology are revolutionizing the distribution of these products. The inclusion in this sector of telecommunications services providers reflects the increasingly important role these establishments play in making these products accessible to the public.

The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, the motion picture and sound recording industries, the broadcasting industries, the telecommunications industries, and the data processing and hosting services industries.

There are establishments engaged in culture-related activities that are classified in other sectors of NAICS. The most important are listed as exclusions below.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • design activities (See 54 Professional, scientific and technical services)
    • duplicating information or cultural products in print form, or in the form of optical or magnetic media (See 31-33 Manufacturing)
    • performing in artistic productions, and creating artistic and cultural works or productions as independent individuals (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • preserving and exhibiting objects, sites, and natural wonders of historical, cultural and/or educational value (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • producing live presentations that involve the performances of actors and actresses, singers, dancers, musical groups and artists, and other performing artists (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • retailing information and cultural products such as newspapers, books, software and sound recordings (See 44-45 Retail trade)
    • wholesaling information and cultural products such as newspapers, books, software, videocassettes, DVDs and sound recordings (See 41 Wholesale trade)

52 - Finance and insurance

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in financial transactions (that is, transactions involving the creation, liquidation, or change in ownership of financial assets) or in facilitating financial transactions. Included are:

* establishments that are primarily engaged in financial intermediation. They raise funds by taking deposits and/or issuing securities, and, in the process, incur liabilities, which they use to acquire financial assets by making loans and/or purchasing securities. Putting themselves at risk, they channel funds from lenders to borrowers and transform or repackage the funds with respect to maturity, scale and risk.

* establishments that are primarily engaged in the pooling of risk by underwriting annuities and insurance. They collect fees (insurance premiums or annuity considerations), build up reserves, invest those reserves and make contractual payments. Fees are based on the expected incidence of the insured risk and the expected return on investment.

53 - Real estate and rental and leasing

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in renting, leasing or otherwise allowing the use of tangible or intangible assets. Establishments primarily engaged in managing real estate for others; selling, renting and/or buying of real estate for others; and appraising real estate, are also included.

54 - Professional, scientific and technical services

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in activities in which human capital is the major input. These establishments make available the knowledge and skills of their employees, often on an assignment basis. The individual industries of this sector are defined on the basis of the particular expertise and training of the service provider.

The main components of this sector are legal services; accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services; architectural, engineering and related services; specialized design services; computer systems design and related services; management, scientific and technical consulting services; scientific research and development services; and advertising, public relations, and related services.

The distinguishing feature of this sector is the fact that most of the industries grouped in it have production processes that are almost wholly dependent on worker skills. In most of these industries, equipment and materials are not of major importance. Thus, the establishments classified in this sector sell expertise. Much of the expertise requires a university or college education, though not in every case.

Establishments primarily engaged in providing instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects and those primarily engaged in providing health care by diagnosis and treatment are not included in this sector.

55 - Management of companies and enterprises

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in managing companies and enterprises and/or holding the securities or financial assets of companies and enterprises, for the purpose of owning a controlling interest in them and/or influencing their management decisions. They may undertake the function of management, or they may entrust the function of financial management to portfolio managers.

56 - Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

This sector comprises establishments of two different types: those primarily engaged in activities that support the day-to-day operations of other organizations; and those primarily engaged in waste management activities.

The first type of establishment is engaged in activities such as administration, hiring and placing personnel, preparing documents, taking orders from clients, collecting payments for claims, arranging travel, providing security and surveillance, cleaning buildings, and packaging and labelling products. These activities are often undertaken, in-house, by establishments found in many sectors of the economy. The establishments classified to this sector specialize in one or more of these activities and can therefore provide services to clients in a variety of industries and, in some cases, to households.

Waste management establishments are engaged in the collection, treatment and disposal of waste material, the operation of material recovery facilities, the remediation of polluted sites and the cleaning of septic tanks.

61 - Educational services

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects. This instruction and training is provided by specialized establishments, such as schools, colleges, universities and training centres. These establishments may be privately owned and operated, either for profit or not, or they may be publicly owned and operated. They may also offer food and accommodation services to their students.

Educational services are usually delivered by teachers who explain, tell, demonstrate, supervise and direct self-learning. Instruction is imparted in diverse settings, such as educational institutions, the workplace or the home (through correspondence, television or other means). The lessons can be adapted to the particular needs of the students, for example sign language can replace verbal language for teaching students with hearing impairments. All industries in the sector share this commonality of process, namely, labour inputs of teachers with the requisite subject matter expertise and teaching ability.

62 - Health care and social assistance

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing health care by diagnosis and treatment, providing residential care for medical and social reasons, and providing social assistance, such as counselling, welfare, child protection, community housing and food services, vocational rehabilitation and child care, to those requiring such assistance.

71 - Arts, entertainment and recreation

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating facilities or providing services to meet the cultural, entertainment and recreational interests of their patrons. These establishments produce, promote or participate in live performances, events or exhibits intended for public viewing; provide the artistic, creative and technical skills necessary for the production of artistic products and live performances; preserve and exhibit objects and sites of historical, cultural or educational interest; and operate facilities or provide services that enable patrons to participate in sports or recreational activities or pursue amusement, hobbies and leisure-time interests.

There are establishments engaged in activities related to arts and recreation that are classified in other sectors of NAICS. The most important are listed below.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • establishments that provide both accommodation and recreational facilities, such as hunting and fishing camps, resorts and casino hotels (See 721 Accommodation services)
    • motion picture theatres, libraries and archives, and publishers of newspapers, magazines, books, periodicals and computer software (See 51 Information and cultural industries)
    • restaurants and night clubs that provide live entertainment in addition to the sale of food and beverages (See 722 Food services and drinking places)
    • transportation establishments providing sightseeing and pleasure cruises (See 48-49 Transportation and warehousing)

72 - Accommodation and food services

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing short-term lodging and complementary services to travellers, vacationers and others, in facilities such as hotels, motor hotels, resorts, motels, casino hotels, bed and breakfast accommodations, housekeeping cottages and cabins, recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, hunting and fishing camps, and various types of recreational and adventure camps. This sector also comprises establishments primarily engaged in preparing meals, snacks and beverages, to customer orders, for immediate consumption on and off the premises.

81 - Other services (except public administration)

This sector comprises establishments, not classified to any other sector, primarily engaged in repairing, or performing general or routine maintenance, on motor vehicles, machinery, equipment and other products to ensure that they work efficiently; providing personal care services, funeral services, laundry services and other services to individuals, such as pet care services and photo finishing services; organizing and promoting religious activities; supporting various causes through grant-making, advocating (promoting) various social and political causes, and promoting and defending the interests of their members. Private households are also included.

91 - Public administration

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in activities of a governmental nature, that is, the enactment and judicial interpretation of laws and their pursuant regulations, and the administration of programs based on them. Legislative activities, taxation, national defence, public order and safety, immigration services, foreign affairs and international assistance, and the administration of government programs are activities that are purely governmental in nature.

Ownership is not a criterion for classification. Government owned establishments engaged in activities that are not governmental in nature are classified to the same industry as privately owned establishments engaged in similar activities.

Government establishments may engage in a combination of governmental and non-governmental activities. When separate records are not available to separate the activities that are not governmental in nature from those that are, the establishment is classified to this sector.

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