Which Business Code to Use for Etsy: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re running a shop on Etsy, selecting the correct Etsy business code is crucial for accurate tax reporting

But there’s another aspect of running an Etsy shop that’s equally crucial but often overlooked—selecting the correct business code for your financial filings.

In this article, we’ll help you navigate the world of business codes, specifically tailored for Etsy sellers. You’ll learn what a business code is, common codes used by Etsy sellers, and how to make sure you’re using the right one.

Magnifying glass highlighting the Etsy logo on a digital tablet displaying 'BUSINESS CODE' and various analytics graphs

What Is a Business Code?

A business code is a numerical or alphabetical code used to categorize the type of business activities you’re engaged in.

In the United States, these are typically referred to as North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.

These codes are used for a variety of reasons, such as filing taxes, applying for business loans, or even obtaining business permits.

Essentially, they tell governmental and financial institutions what kind of business you’re running.

By using the right business code, you ensure that you’re in compliance with various regulations and that you’re paying the appropriate taxes.

Getting it wrong can lead to complications, from extra scrutiny during tax audits to potential legal issues.

That’s why understanding what business codes are and how to choose the right one is a critical part of managing your Etsy shop.

Common Business Codes for Etsy Sellers

Now that we’ve covered what a business code is and why it’s important, let’s talk about some common NAICS codes for Etsy sellers. Here are some examples:

  1. Crafts and Handmade Items – NAICS Codes 451130 and 339910: While NAICS Code 451130 is often used for businesses dealing primarily with arts and crafts supplies, NAICS code 339910 for handmade crafts is another option that specifically caters to those who sell handmade items
  2. Clothing and Apparel – NAICS Code 448190: If you’re an Etsy seller focused on clothing, whether it’s handmade or curated, this might be the code for you.
  3. Jewelry Stores – NAICS Code 448310: For those who specialize in selling jewelry, this code is generally the best fit.
  4. Online Retailers – NAICS Code 454110: Often referred to as the online selling business code, this catch-all category is frequently used if your shop features a variety of items and doesn’t fit into a more specialized category
  5. Antique Stores – NAICS Code 453310: If you deal primarily with antiques, this is the code for you.

Keep in mind that while these are common codes, the best code for you will depend on the specifics of your business. When in doubt, consult with a tax professional.

How to Find and Use Your Etsy Business Code?

Finding the right code might seem daunting, but the process is fairly straightforward. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Research: The U.S. Census Bureau provides a searchable NAICS code directory on their website. Use this tool to identify potential codes that match your business activities.
  2. Consult a Professional: If you’re still unsure, consulting a tax or business advisor can provide clarity. They can help identify the best code for your unique situation.
  3. Tax Filing: When you file your taxes, you’ll be asked to provide your NAICS code. This usually happens during the business information section of your tax return.
  4. Update as Needed: Businesses evolve, and your code may need to change along with your product offerings. Be sure to review your code periodically to ensure it remains accurate.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Business Code for ETSY

Even seasoned business owners can make errors when selecting a business code. Let’s discuss some common mistakes to steer clear of:

  1. Being Too General: While it might be tempting to pick a broad category, doing so can cause you to miss out on specific tax benefits. Aim for a code that closely aligns with your business activities.
  2. Not Updating Your Code: As your business evolves, so should your NAICS code. Failing to update your code could lead to complications down the line.
  3. Guessing: If you’re unsure about which code to use, it’s better to seek professional advice than to make an uninformed guess, as the latter could lead to potential issues with the IRS.
  4. Ignoring Local Regulations: Some states and municipalities may have additional classification systems in place. Make sure you’re compliant on both a federal and local level.


Choosing the correct business code for your Etsy shop is crucial for accurate tax reporting and for taking advantage of potential tax benefits.

The process involves understanding what a business code is, identifying which code best matches your business activities, and being mindful of common pitfalls to avoid.

The NAICS system offers a wide range of codes designed to classify nearly every type of business. Whether you sell crafts, clothing, or a variety of items, there’s a code for you.

When in doubt, consult a tax professional to ensure you’re making the best choice for your Etsy shop.

By taking the time to select the appropriate business code, you’re not just fulfilling a tax requirement; you’re also laying a foundation for the long-term success of your business.