A List of NAICS Codes for Common High Risk Industries

January 9, 2024

The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) is like a directory that categorizes different industries and businesses. Some sectors are labeled “high-risk” by FinCEN, a government agency focused on financial crimes. These high-risk sectors tend to have products, services, or transactions that could be more easily exploited for money laundering, terrorism financing, and other shady activities.

Over time, more sectors have been added to the high-risk list – especially after major laws like the Patriot Act and Bank Secrecy Act were passed. The list is updated periodically as regulators aim to close loopholes.

Common high-risk sectors involve things like casinos, currency exchanges, precious metals/gems dealers, weapons dealers, and shell companies. Essentially, a financial activity that is cash-intensive or has loose oversight seems to end up on the watchlist.

The high-risk labels apply widely to relevant US businesses. But many other countries follow suit if they also prioritize anti-money laundering enforcement.


Ultimately, keeping tabs on sectors vulnerable to financial crimes is viewed as an important piece of national security policy. Even if the majority of businesses are legitimate, it is better to be safe than sorry when nefarious activity could be lurking.

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High-Risk NAICS Codes List

Adult Industry Merchants

Alcohol Merchants

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Auction Merchants

B2B Merchants

Business-to-business (B2B) services can encompass a wide range of industries and activities, as B2B refers to transactions between businesses rather than between a business and individual consumers. Therefore, there isn’t a specific NAICS code that exclusively defines all B2B services.

CBD and Hemp Merchants

Charter Merchants

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Collection Agency Merchants

  • NAICS code 561440 – Collection Agencies: This code is designated for establishments primarily collecting payments for claims and remitting them to their clients. These establishments often purchase or collect debts for their own account.

Credit Repair Merchants

Debt Collection Merchants

  • NAICS code 561440 – Collection Agencies: For businesses collecting payments for claims and remitting these payments to their clients. This includes agencies that collect debt on behalf of creditors, purchase delinquent debts, and collect on their own accounts.

Delta-8 Merchants

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Firearms Merchants

Fantasy Sports Merchants

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Gun Dealer Merchants

Headshops and Smokeshops

Head shops and smoke shops are primarily categorized under NAICS Code 453991, which is designated for “Tobacco Stores.” This industry classification includes establishments primarily engaged in retailing cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, pipes, and other smokers’ supplies. Retailing tobacco products via electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale falls under a different subsector, as does the retailing of electronic cigarettes.

High Ticket Merchants

High Ticket doesn’t directly correspond to a specific industry category in the NAICS. “High ticket” typically refers to products or services with a high cost or value, which can span multiple industries.

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Jewelry Merchants

The jewelry industry is primarily classified under NAICS Code 339910, which covers “Jewelry and Silverware Manufacturing.” This category includes establishments that are involved in various activities related to jewelry, such as manufacturing, engraving, chasing, or etching of jewelry and related items

Kratom Merchants

Finding a specific NAICS code for the Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) industry is challenging as it may not have a distinct classification. Instead, businesses dealing with kratom might fall under broader categories related to health care, botanical manufacturing, or other related industries.

Medical Collection Merchants

Medical collection agencies, which specialize in collecting debts for medical services provided by healthcare providers, are classified under a specific NAICS code. The most relevant NAICS code for medical collection services is:


While this is the primary NAICS code for collection agencies, including those focusing on medical debts, it’s important to note that if a business offers additional services beyond debt collection, other NAICS codes may also be relevant. For instance:

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Multi-level Marketing (MLM)

Nutraceuticals (Nutra) Merchants

The nutraceutical industry is primarily classified under NAICS Code 325411, which is designated for “Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing.” This category includes establishments engaged in manufacturing uncompounded medicinal chemicals and their derivatives, generally used by pharmaceutical manufacturers, and in the grading, grinding, and milling of uncompounded botanicals. This classification reflects the focus on dietary supplements and herbal products within the nutraceutical sector.

Online Poker Merchants

For a business primarily providing online poker platforms, the most directly relevant NAICS code would likely be NAICS code 713290 – Other Gambling Industries. This code includes establishments primarily operating gambling facilities or providing gambling services not classified elsewhere. Since online poker falls under internet-based gambling services, it is appropriately classified under this code.

Paraphernalia Merchants

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Payday Loan Merchants

The appropriate NAICS code for businesses primarily offering payday loans is NAICS code 522291 – Consumer Lending. This code includes establishments primarily engaged in making unsecured cash loans to consumers. Payday loan services fall under this category, as they typically provide short-term, high-interest loans based on personal checks held for future deposits or electronic access to personal checking accounts.

Penny Auction Merchants

Penny auctions, a type of online auction where participants pay a non-refundable fee to place small incremental bids, would likely fall under the following NAICS code 454112 – Electronic Auctions. This classification includes establishments primarily providing electronic auction services on their own account or on a contract or fee basis. Since penny auctions are conducted online, this NAICS code is the most fitting.

Peptides Merchants

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Pharmacy Merchants

Property Management Companies

Recurring Billing / Subscription

SARMs Merchants

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SEO Companies

Sports Betting Merchants

Student Loan Providers

Supplement Merchants

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Ticket Merchants

Timeshare Merchants

Tobacco Merchants

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Travel Merchants

Trial Offer Merchants

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Telemedicine Merchants

Tech Support Merchants

Vacation Rental Merchants

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Vape Merchants

Vape stores are primarily classified under NAICS Code 459991. This industry comprises establishments engaged in retailing cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, pipes, and other smokers’ supplies. This category specifically includes vape shops as part of the broader group of tobacco and electronic cigarette retailers.

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