The NAICS, or North American Industry Classification System, is a classification system developed by a government agency, the Office of Management and Budget. It is an update of the Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC) and is used not only by the government, but also by many businesses and individuals. The NAICS is a collection of statistical economic data, gathered for the purpose of analysis. The data’s usefulness is specific to the user, and has been used for marketing, targeting sales, and even deciding where to open a certain type of business. This paper will identify the possible NAICS codes applicable to a storage unit company created as a sole proprietorship and classified as a “small business”, and show how they relate to the industry overall.
A business is categorized within the NAICS based upon its main activity and assigned a six-digit numerical code. The structure of the code is as follows:
XX Sector
XXX Subsector
XXXX Industry Group
XXXXX Industry
XXXXXX U.S. Industry (www.census.gov)

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A self-storage unit company falls within Code Sector 53: Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. The related Industry code is 53113 – a 0 at the end would further classify the business as being a U.S. Industry. The code title is Lessors of Miniwarehouses and Self-Storage Units. This type of business will rent rooms and compartments of various sizes to the general public to store personal or business effects. Some businesses will rent the space by month, but often will offer extended rental deals. The storage units are typically accessible by the renter directly.

There is another industry code that could possibly be used by a storage unit company – NAICS 493110 – General Warehousing and Storage. This industry classification would indicate that the main activity of the business is to provide merchandise warehousing and storage.

While both NAICS codes relate to storage unit rental, Code 531130 appears to relate more closely to the small, sole proprietorship type of business. A small-business owner seeking to classify a newly formed business would need to carefully consider which of these codes best describes the main business activity so that the data accessed is relevant and applicable to the business.