NAICS Codes for Gig Economy Workers: How to Locate, What it Means, Why it’s Important

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) are 6-digit codes that classify businesses by the type of activity they are engaged in to facilitate the administration of the Internal Revenue Code.

You will need this code to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan with any lender. Eligible PPP loans can be forgivable if spent on approved business expenses.

For gig workers, independent contractors and sole proprietors, this code describes your primary business activity that you will enter on your Schedule C on your tax return. Read on to learn more information about this important classification.

Apply for the latest round of PPP funding

Where can I find my NAICS code?

You can find the NAICS code that most closely matches your business on the NAICS website.

What are popular NAICS codes for gig economy workers?

Here are codes to investigate when determining your classification:

  • Ridesharing Services (such as Uber/Lyft)
    • 485310 - Taxi and Limo Service
  • Delivery Services (such as PostMates)
    • 492110 - Couriers and Messengers
  • Task-Based Services (such as TaskRabbit)
    • 812990 - All other personal services
  • Car Rental Services (such as RelayRides, GetAround, Turo)
    • 532112 - Automotive Equipment Rental & Leasing
  • Homesharing Services (AirBnB)
    • 721110 - Hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts
  • Rooming and Boarding Houses
    • 721310
  • Real Estate Property Managers
    • 531311
  • Other Activities related to Real Estate
    • 531390
  • Other Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
    • 485999
  • Other Consumer Goods Rental (such as Spinlister)
    • 532210
  • Drycleaning and Laundry Services (such as Rinse)
    • 812320 - On-demand dry cleaning services
  • Special Food Services (such as Feastly)
    • 722310 - Food service contractors and caterers
  • Specialized Freight Trucking (such as Dolly)
    • 484210 - Household moving vans
  • Cleaning Services (such as Handy)
    • 561720 - Janitorial Services
  • Other Services to Building and Dwellings
    • 561790
  • Contracting or Home Renovations Services (such as Smith)
    • 561730 - Landscaping services
  • Other Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance
    • 811490
  • Pet Care Services (such as Rover)
    • 812910 - Pet sitting services (except Veterinary care)

Most tax filing software will allow you to look up your code within the software, but you can find a full list on the IRS instructions for the Schedule C here.

What are NAICS codes used for?

NAICS codes are used for many purposes, but one of the most important is that the Small Business Administration (SBA) uses them to set size standards for particular businesses to be considered “small” in order to qualify for various small business-related programs.

Why are NAICS codes important?

Here’s why you need to know your NAICS code:

  • Necessary when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan – See Information below
  • To compete for government purchase contracts or grants (both federal and state);
  • To obtain disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) certification, you need to meet the SBA size standards for your NAICS code, and you obtain certification for your particular code(s) only;
  • To become SBA certified;
  • To become a VA-certified veteran owned small business (VOSB) or a service-disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB);
  • To become a woman owned small business (WOSB);
  • Possibly used when applying for commercial loans, to compare your business to similar businesses.

To make sure your business meets a lender’s industry code requirement, you’ll want to check with them regarding any ineligible industries before submitting your application. A small mistake could cause a delay or rejection so double check your numbers before you press “upload”. You can find a list of industry codes deemed risky by NAICS here.


How to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding

Apply today before the funding runs out or the May 31st deadline is reached: Apply for a PPP Loan Now.

SmartBiz has helped tens of thousands of American small businesses apply for the funding they need during the pandemic crisis. We know this new round of the PPP can be a lifesaver for hard-working entrepreneurs. Our streamlined, online application helps you easily apply.

Learn more about the PPP on the SmartBiz Loans website. Note: As of the first week in March 2021, very small businesses (including gig workers) can enter their gross income to calculate the loan amount to apply for. Previously based on net income, this new calculation can provide applicants the opportunity to apply for more funding. Read our easy-to-understand article here for all the information you need to apply:

How Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, and Gig Economy Workers Can Apply for a PPP Loan Prior to Filing 2020 Taxes

Who is eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?

Most small businesses can qualify for the Payment Protection Program. This includes:

  • Sole proprietors who report income and pay taxes on a 1040 Schedule C in your personal tax return. Whether you’re a fitness instructor, tutor, or freelancer if you’ve got a Schedule C, filed or unfiled, you can qualify.
  • Independent contractors who collect 1099-MISC forms (but for the PPP, you’ll need to submit a Schedule C, not your 1099s).
  • Gig economy workers who take on-call jobs provided by companies such as Uber®, DoorDash®, Lyft®, TaskRabbit®, and Instacart®.

Another stipulation to be eligible for a PPP loan is that your business was operational as of February 15, 2020. If you started your business after that date, you will not be eligible for this program.

PPP loan details

  • New regulations for PPP loan amount calculations have been updated. The loan Amount is now based on gross, not net income. This may provide business owners the opportunity to apply for more funding.
  • Loans available up to $2,000,000
  • 1.00% interest rate and no payments for the first 10 months
  • No collateral or guarantee required
  • PPP loan proceeds can be used for costs related to payroll, rent or lease, mortgage interest payments, utilities services, operational expenses, property damage, supplier costs, and worker protection expenses

What You Need to Know

The availability of PPP loans remains subject to SBA guidance and other factors, including the amount of funding available to banks and the quantity of eligible applicants considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

The information provided above is for educational purposes only. Please consult the SBA website for actual rules and the most current guidance.The SmartBiz® Small Business Blog and other related communications from SmartBiz Loans® are intended to provide general information on relevant topics for managing small businesses. Be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed. Please consult a certified accountant or tax professional for further information.