Business owners who are sole proprietors must fill in a six-digit Principal Business or Professional Activity code on the Schedule C tax return form. Based on the North American Industry Classification System, these codes represent an individual’s primary business activity. Self employment codes help facilitate the tax review process for Internal Revenue Service agents who use the codes to help prevent fraud. The IRS notes that self-employed individuals who operate farms should file a Schedule F.

Accommodations And Restaurants

In 2010, hotels, motels and inns should use code 721100, while businesses that provide room and board would use code 721310. Parks for recreational vehicles and recreational camps have code 721210 assigned to them. Food services are in the same section as accommodations, and full-service restaurants should use code 722110. The code for limited-service restaurants is 722210, while caterers would use code 722300. Establishments that primarily serve alcoholic beverages, like bars, should use code 722410.

Sports And Arts

Individuals who serve as agents or managers for entertainers, athletes or artists would code 711410, while independent writers, artists and performers should use code 711510. Sports and entertainment promoters have code 711300. Performing arts businesses use code 711100, but spectator sports arenas such as racetracks or sports clubs should use code 711210.

Construction Contractors

Contractors who work on residential buildings should use code 236100, which nonresidential construction contractors would use code 236200. Drywall contractors have code 238310, electrical contractors use code 238210 and flooring contractors would use code 238330. Roofers would use code 23816 on a Schedule C, while an individual who works on siding should use code 238170.

Educational Services

Sole proprietors who offer educational services, such as tutoring, should use code 611000. The IRS states this code also applies to schools, university and colleges.

Social Services

An individual who runs a day care facility should use code 624410. An individual would apply code 624200 if he provided a community food facility or emergency shelter services. Businesses that offer vocational rehabilitation use code 624310, but those who offer family and individual social services would input code 624100.

Professional Services

The IRS states that the office of certified public accountants should use code 542111 on a Schedule C form, but a tax preparation service would use code 541213, while “other accounting” service providers have code 541219. Computer designers have code 541510, but interior and fashion designers use code 541400.


Hobby shop and game store owners should use code 451120, but a bookstore owner should use code 451211, even if he sells some toys in his store. A used car dealer would use code 441120, but a new car dealer should use code 441110. A florist should apply code 4531100, while gift shop owners would use code 453220.