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Industry Ratios & Averages: Getting Started

This is a guide to sources of industry ratios and averages and to materials that explain how to calculate and interpret these numbers.

NAICS Codes

"The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy."

The NAICS is available online.

SIC Codes

The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system classifies businesses by type of product or service. While this system has been replaced with the NAICS as of 1997, some directories still have SIC indexes.

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