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Small Business Startup Guide

From SWOT analysis to financing, getting a business up and running takes work and careful planning. This guide was created to help you along the way. Each step of the process provides resources of information in the form of books and e-books, videos, webs

Industry Profiles and Analyses


Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada produces statistical data to help Canadians understand their country's population, economy, society, culture and resources.  There is a census every five years to gather data and over 350 active surveys on aspects of Canadian life.  The following links are particularly helpful for industry information and analysis.

Statistics (Other)


North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

NAICS was developed to reconcile different systems created by Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to classify industries and products.  Sometimes older systems are still in use in Canada so we now have different classification systems appearing.  Also, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico have variations on the NAICS classification, and these exist in some sources.


Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC)

The U.S. government created a Standard Industrial Classification system to classify U.S. industries for statistical purposes. Publishers of trade directories found the SIC as a convenient way of subject indexing their directories.

Canadian trade directory publishers also used the U.S. SIC for this purpose because so many Canadian manufacturers and distributors had business dealings and other connections with U.S. companies.

Because of differences between the U.S. and Canadian economies, the U.S. SIC was not suitable for Canadian statistical reporting purposes. Statistics Canada, therefore, created two Canadian SICs, one (SIC-E) for "Establishments" (factories, plants, mills, etc. within a company) and another (SIC-C) for "Companies and Enterprises" which were used in Statistics Canada data products.

The U.S. and Canadian SICs have been largely replaced by NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) but they continue to be used in directories and other information sources.

SIC documentation (Canada and U.S.)


Harmonized System (HS)

The HS is an international classification used by 207 countries or economic unions worldwide for imported and exported commodities. The basic commodity code is six digits long. This has been expanded in Canada to 8 digits for exports and 10 digits for imports.

HS documentation

Data Sources using HS


International Standard Industrial Classification System (ISIC)

The industry classification system created by the United Nations Statistics Division.

ISIC documentation

Data Sources using ISIC

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