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Business Sector (“Secteur d’activité”) Industry Classification: Overview

What are the Business Sectors (or “Secteur d’activité) in Quebec?

Where do you find out the industry classification?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our business registration and filing knowledge!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

What Are Business Sector (“Secteur d’activité”)

Depending on the context, business sectors (“secteurs d’activité” in French) can have a variety of meanings.

In this article, we will look at the notion of business sectors as understood by the “Registraire des entreprises du Québec” (REQ) or the Quebec Enterprise Registry.

The REQ business activity areas correspond to the definitions of the various industries as outlined in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

The REQ publishes the different industries and business economic activities and has assigned different economic activity codes to them.

For example, agriculture is assigned the code 0121, banking is 7021, or computer stores the code 6226.

Anyone looking to register a company in Quebec must identify the economic activity code associated to the main business activity of the company.

North American Industry Classification System

The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS developed the industry classification system with the objective of developing streamlining trade between Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

The Canadian, Mexican, and US statistical agencies worked together to develop an industry classification system that they all agree to thereby facilitating trade between each of these countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

With each country having a common understanding and definition of different industries and the industrial structure, they can better collaborate and implement trade policies or make trade decisions.

Activity Areas: Industry Classification List

Every company registered in Quebec must disclose its main business areas of activity.

In this context, the Quebec Business Registry has adopted a list of industries that mimics the industry classification developed by NAICS.

Here is the list of the industry classification (secteurs d’activité) provided by the REQ:

  • Public administration
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Other services (except public administration)
  • Retail business
  • Wholesale 
  • Construction
  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance and insurance
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Accommodation and food services
  • Information industry and cultural industry
  • Administrative services, support services, waste management services and remediation services
  • Education services
  • Food and beverage services
  • Real estate and rental and leasing services
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Public services
  • Health care and social assistance
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Truck transport

There are 22 industry headings outlined in this list.

Under each industry heading, you can get further details as to the type of business activity that it may include.

For example, under the “Construction” heading, you will have companies in the area of:

  • the construction of residential and non-residential buildings (industrial, commercial and institutional buildings)
  • civil engineering works (roads, streets, bridges, dam)
  • specialized contractors (carpentry, masonry, electricity, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, insulation, painting, flooring, carpentry)

Alternatively, under the “Truck transport” heading, you will find businesses in the following areas:

  • general cargo truck transportation (trucking, bulk mail, container truck, long haul, full load, part load)
  • transport by truck of special goods (moving, local transport, transport by truck of liquid bulk, solid bulk, forest products over long distances)

You can access the detailed industry classification list on the Quebec.ca website.

Registre des entreprises du Québec

The “Registre des entreprises du Québec” is an institution in Quebec mandated to oversee and manage company registrations in the province of Quebec.

Its REQ mission is to help protect companies, associations, and the public in the context of their economic and commercial dealings.

Particularly, the REQ is responsible to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with the laws governing enterprises and their economic activities in Quebec.

The Quebec company registry maintains a public register in which information is filed and kept relating to corporations, legal entities, associations, partnerships, or other enterprises constituted or operating in Quebec.

REQ Business Activity Area Takeaways 

So, what does Business Sector mean?

Should you need legal services to determine which business sector you must disclose to the Quebec authorities, it would be a good idea to speak with a Quebec business lawyer or incorporation lawyer.

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Business Sector (“Secteur d’activité”)

  • “Business Sector” or “Secteur d’activité”, for the purposes of registering a company in Quebec with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec refers to the industry where a company operates in
  • When constituting a company in Quebec, the company founders and entrepreneurs must disclose the main business areas of operations to REQ
  • The REQ has adopted the industry classification list used by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in the context the Free Trade Agreement between Canada, US, and Mexico
Automobile industry
Banking industry 
Construction industry 
Education industry 
Financial industry 
Health care industry 
Insurance industry 
Manufacturing industry 
Mining industry 
Technology industry 
Transport industry 
Wholesale industry
Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises
Business Corporations Act
Business lawyer 
Business plan
Charter of the French language
Companies Act
Company incorporation 
Economic Activity Code
Federal corporation
Foreign corporation 
Lawyer Montreal
Name reservation application 
Quebec business search
Quebec corporation
Quebec enterprise number
Statistics Canada


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