What Is a DUNS Number?
A Data-Universal-Numbering-System (D-U-N-S) number is a unique ID issued by the credit reporting agency Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) used to track business credit.
A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier used to identify businesses worldwide. Dun & Bradstreet has used this system for business credit reporting since the 1960s. The numbers are assigned randomly and do not correspond to business type or other classifications.
Your DUNS number can be used by lenders or vendors to look up and evaluate the D&B rating of your business. This rating is used like a credit score for your business.
Benefits of a DUNS Number
There are many benefits of having a D-U-N-S number assigned to your business:
- Your business can be identified by corporations and other organizations worldwide. The D-U-N-S database system is standardized internationally.
- By keeping your Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX Score (scores credit worthiness from 0-100) high you ensure banks and vendors more quickly do business with you.
- You can establish, identify, and enhance the credit score for your business. Once you have a D-U-N-S number, you can look up your company’s credit rating and use the information to make decisions that advance your business.
- Your business will be able to contract with vendors that require partners to have a D-U-N-S. Having a D-U-N-S number is required to do business with the US government and many other organizations.
- Your D-U-N-S number is often necessary for obtaining grants and loans for your business. Most banks have this requirement, and it applies to government grants as well.
Important: Business credit is not protected by the same laws as personal credit privacy laws, meaning anyone can access your business information after you apply for a D-U-N-S number.
How to Register for a Free DUNS Number
You can get a DUNS number online for free. You’ll first need to gather certain information together to apply, then check to see if you have a DUNS number already. If you have applied for credit from a vendor, lender, or creditor that reports to Dun & Bradstreet, chances are you already have a DUN number.
Once you complete this process it may take up to 30 days to process your application. There is a Dun & Bradstreet phone number to call if you do need additional help: (844) 260-1439.
Important: Do not use any third-party websites to apply for your DUNS number. It is free online, and third party sites asking you to pay for expedited service are just a scam. Apply for a free DUNS number online.
Information Needed to Apply for a DUNS Number
Applying for a free D-U-N-S number online is quick and simple. When you visit dnb.com you will need the following information available:
- The legal name of your business
- Any Doing Business As (DBA) information or other names used by your business.
- Physical and mailing address and phone number for your business headquarters
- Title and name for the individual in your company to be contacted
- The number of employees at your business
- Whether or not your business is home- based
Check to See if You Have a DUNS Number
In some cases, there may have already been a DUNS number created for your business, so dnb.com will perform a search before creating a new one. This can happen if your business has been searched on the database by another company, for example.
- Access the Dun & Bradstreet website
- Hover your cursor over the heading “D-U-N-S Number” at the top of the home page.
- Click on “Get a D-U-N-S Number.” This will direct you to the DUNS number lookup and creation page.
After you supply the necessary information, Dun & Bradstreet will let you know if your business already has a DUNS number associated with it.
Note: The site will ask your primary reason for registering a DUNS number for your business and ask you to supply the necessary contact information listed in the previous step.
Tip: Make sure to answer the question in the dropdown menu and fully complete the online form.