Business Tips

DUNS Number: What Is It and How to Get One for Your Business

Read Time: 5 min

If you want to apply for a grant or loan as a business, rather than as an individual, you need a DUNS number. But what is this number? Essentially, it serves as a business information source to entities with which you’d like to work. While that may sound complicated, acquiring a DUNS number is actually quite simple. You only need to provide some basic information about your business on the Dun & Bradstreet website. Continue reading to learn what Dun & Bradstreet is, how to get your business’s data universal numbering system number, and more.

three business partners passing around business funding after DUNS registration

Note: As of April 4, 2022, federal agencies no longer use DUNS numbers, but instead use Unique Entity Identifiers (UEIs) created by the System for Award Management.

What Is a DUNS Number?

A data universal numbering system number, commonly referred to as a DUNS number, is a nine-digit code individually identifying businesses within the United States. With this number, another entity can verify your business’s full name, address, phone number, number of employees, and other pertinent information. Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud (D&B) generates and assigns these numbers.

Who Is Dun & Bradstreet?

Dun & Bradstreet is a United States-based company that provides businesses with commercial insights, analyses, and data. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, D&B also offers products and services for risk analysis, supply chain management, sales management, and industry research.

Dun & Bradstreet started off in 1841 as a network of correspondents functioning as a source of credit information. Today, Dun & Bradstreet’s archive consists of information about more than 400 million businesses across the globe.

Why Your Business Needs a DUNS Number

First and most important, obtaining a Duns and Bradstreet number enables other entities to confirm information about your business. This means that anyone who wants to work with you—partners, investors, or lenders—will likely ask for a business credit report. In such a scenario, you can provide them with your business’s number.

Because Duns and Bradstreet numbers are universally recognized and uniquely assigned, they can also serve as a key element in data management systems. With this number, a business can capture, store, and manage information related to its customers, partners, and suppliers in a single location.

Finally, this number may be a requirement when requesting a grant for your business. For example, the Connecticut Office of the Arts requires businesses applying for a grant to be in possession of a DUNS number.

DUNS Number Lookup: How To Find an Existing DUNS Number

Before applying for your business’s Duns and Bradstreet number, you can check whether your business already has a number through the DUNS Number Lookup. D&B’s database provides access to a business’s credit score and the ability to review and update a D&B credit report. Through the D&B database, an entity may view and print a business’s credit report, investigate payment issues, and update such information.

How To Get a DUNS Number For Your Business

If you don’t find your business on the list, you may submit an application for a DUNS number on the D&B website. Additionally, you may reach out to their support agents to ask for details about the process by calling (844) 238-6921.

While the application is straightforward, you do need your business information on hand. That includes your business’s legal name, address, contact information, legal business structure, number of employees, and other such details. The approval process takes about 30 days. However, if you pay $229 for a DUNSfile, the approval process could take as few as five days.

a business man with a DUNS number obtaining a business loan from a bank

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How To Use Your DUNS Number to Boost Your Credit

After issuing your business’s number, Duns and Bradstreet builds a credit profile of your business. Vendors or suppliers interested in doing business with you, as well as lenders considering extending your business credit, may want to review your business’s credit profile. That said, Duns and Bradstreet can’t really boost your business’s credit score, but it can act as an indicator of a good or a bad credit score.

If you’re interested in boosting your business’s credit score, below are two methods to do so:

  • Make Timely Payments: This one is pretty simple. All potential lenders expect to receive a return on their investment and all potential partners expect you to be reliable. That’s why your number one priority is to make timely payments, as this communicates your business’s dependability to lenders and partners.
  • Monitor Your Business Credit Scores: It takes time and effort to build your business credit file, but recent changes can abruptly affect your scores in a positive or a negative way. To avoid troublesome situations, monitor your company’s score regularly.

Duns and Bradstreet Number: Final Thoughts

Through your business’s data universal numbering system number, future suppliers, partners, lenders, and other entities interested in working with your business can verify pertinent information before doing so. Because the process of obtaining your business’s Duns and Bradstreet number can take up to 30 days, it’s best to get a jump on this before you suddenly find yourself in need of fast business funding.

Duns Number FAQ

How much does a DUNS number cost?

A Duns and Bradstreet number is free for United States residents, though approval can take up to 30 days. Those wishing to expedite the process can do so by paying $229 for a DUNSfile, with approval taking as little as five days.

Is a DUNS number the same as a TIN number?

No. A D data universal numbering system number is used to identify businesses within the United States and check their credit scores. On the other hand, a tax identification number (TIN) identifies an entity to the IRS for tax purposes.

What does a DUNS number look like?

A number from Duns and Bradstreet is a nine-digit code.

How long does it take to get a DUNS number?

After you’ve applied, you’ll wait about 30 days for approval. Conversely, you can pay $229 to be approved in as few as five days.

Is a DUNS number the same as an EIN number?

No. Your Duns and Bradstreet number identifies your business mostly for credit score purposes, whereas your business’s employer identification number (EIN) is a subtype of the TIN, which is used for tax purposes.

What is the purpose of a DUNS number?

This number serves to prove the credibility of your business, as well as to inform potential clients, lenders, and suppliers about your business.

What can I do with my DUNS number?

Your business may need this number for multiple reasons, including, but not limited to, appealing to potential customers, lenders, and partners, applying for a grant or government contracts, and tracking your business credit score.



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