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Case Study: GreenTech Innovations’ Challenge – Navigating the NAICS Code Maze & A Step-by-Step Guide for Small Businesses



Case Study: Difficulty with NAICS Code Selection

Problem: A start-up we will call GreenTech Innovations, focusing on sustainable technology, was registering on SAM for the first time. They faced confusion regarding which North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code to select, given their diverse range of services.

Solution: GreenTech sought guidance from the Federal Processing Registry to understand the nuances of NAICS codes. With their assistance, GreenTech identified multiple codes that accurately represented their services. They also set up periodic reviews to ensure their NAICS codes and SAM registration remain relevant as their business evolves.


The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a critical component of the System for Award Management (SAM) registration process. Selecting the correct NAICS codes can be a daunting task, especially for businesses with diverse services. In this blog post, we will explore a detailed case study of GreenTech Innovations, a startup focusing on sustainable technology, and its journey through the NAICS code selection process.


Case Study: GreenTech Innovations’ Challenge


GreenTech Innovations, a startup in the sustainable technology sector, decided to venture into federal contracting to expand its business. The first step was to register on SAM, which required selecting the appropriate NAICS codes to represent their diverse range of services. The challenge was to accurately identify the codes that best matched their business activities.

Step-by-Step Guide to How We Helped GreenTech Innovations Select the Right NAICS Codes:

  1. Understand the Importance of NAICS Codes: NAICS codes are used by federal agencies to classify businesses based on their industry and services. Selecting the correct codes is crucial for businesses to be eligible for relevant federal contracts and grants.
  2. Identify Your Business Activities: GreenTech started by listing all its business activities and services. This comprehensive list served as a foundation for identifying the relevant NAICS codes.
  3. Use the NAICS Search Tool: The U.S. Census Bureau provides a NAICS search tool that allows businesses to search for codes based on keywords. GreenTech used this tool to find codes related to sustainable technology, renewable energy, and environmental consulting.
  4. Review the NAICS Code Descriptions: After identifying potential codes, GreenTech reviewed the detailed descriptions provided by the NAICS website to ensure the codes accurately represented their business activities.
  5. Select Primary and Secondary Codes: GreenTech identified its primary business activity and selected the corresponding NAICS code as its primary code. They also selected additional codes that represented their secondary business activities.
  6. Consult with Industry Experts: To validate their code selection, GreenTech consulted with industry experts and other businesses in the sustainable technology sector. This step provided valuable insights and confirmed that they had selected the appropriate codes.
  7. Regularly Review and Update Codes: As GreenTech’s business evolved, they established a process for regularly reviewing and updating their NAICS codes to ensure they remained accurate and relevant.
  8. Seek Assistance from PTAC: GreenTech also sought guidance from a local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to ensure they were on the right track. The PTAC provided valuable advice and resources to help GreenTech navigate the federal contracting landscape.


Selecting the correct NAICS codes is a crucial step in the SAM registration process. By following these detailed steps, businesses can accurately represent their industry and services, making them eligible for relevant federal contracts and grants. GreenTech Innovations’ journey serves as a valuable example for other startups and small businesses facing similar challenges. By understanding the importance of NAICS codes, conducting thorough research, consulting with industry experts like the Federal Processing Registry, and seeking assistance from PTAC, businesses can successfully navigate the NAICS code maze and thrive in the competitive world of federal contracting.




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