If you’re a business owner or work in the corporate world, you may have encountered the term “DUNS number” at some point. But what exactly is a DUNS number, and why is it important?
We’ll explore the concept of DUNS numbers and their significance in the business world. Moreover, Lacoon will cover what is a DUNS number, how it’s assigned, and how companies and government organizations use it.
Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or starting out, understanding DUNS numbers can be crucial to your success.
What Is a DUNS Number?
A D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identification number assigned by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to businesses worldwide.
D&B is a global business information and analytics provider, offering commercial credit scores and ratings, credit monitoring, and other business insights.
A D‑U‑N‑S Number is assigned to each physical location of a business, allowing D&B to create a business credit file and track the business’s performance.
DUNS is a short way of saying “Data Universal Numbering System.” It was made by D&B in 1962 to help them keep track of credit.
Nowadays, D&B says that the D-U-N-S Number is what most businesses use to be identified all over the world.
Besides the nine-digit number, a D-U-N-S Number also tells you other important stuff about the business, like its name, where it’s based, and what kind of business it is.
Why Do I Need a D‑U‑N‑S Number?
A D‑U‑N‑S Number can be valuable for businesses in several ways, including:
Establish credibility with lenders, and expedite applications for loans and contracts
If a business wants a loan or a contract, the lender or buyer might check their business credit report to see if they can be trusted to pay back what they owe. D&B is one of the biggest companies that make these reports.
Having a D-U-N-S Number can show that the business is real, and it makes it easier for lenders and buyers to see the credit report.
In addition, some lenders or government agencies may require a D‑U‑N‑S Number as part of their application process.
Do business with the government and companies outside the United States
Many government agencies and international companies use the D‑U‑N‑S Number to identify and track businesses.
For example, the US government requires all businesses that want to bid on federal contracts to have a D‑U‑N‑S Number.
Similarly, some foreign countries may require a D‑U‑N‑S Number as part of their import/export regulations.
Make sure other businesses get a complete and accurate story about your business
Because D&B uses the D‑U‑N‑S Number to track a business’s credit history, having a D‑U‑N‑S Number can help ensure that other businesses get a complete and accurate picture of your business’s creditworthiness.
This can be important when seeking new business partners, suppliers, or customers.
Is a DUNS Number the Same as a Federal Tax ID Number?
No, a D‑U‑N‑S Number is not the same as a Federal Tax ID Number (also known as an Employer Identification Number or EIN).
A Federal Tax ID Number is a nine-digit number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to identify businesses for tax purposes.
In contrast, a D‑U‑N‑S Number is assigned by D&B and is used to track a business’s credit history and performance.
How Do I Look Up My DUNS Number?
You can look it up using the D&B website if you already have a D-U-N-S Number. Simply go to the D&B search page and enter your business name and location.
D&B will then display your D‑U‑N‑S Number (if you have one) and other information about your business.
How to Get a DUNS Number
If you don’t already have a D‑U‑N‑S Number, you can apply for one through the D&B website.
The process typically takes several days to complete, and there may be a fee involved (see FAQs below for more information). Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for a DUNS Number:
- Go to the D&B website and click on “Get a D‑U‑N‑S Number” at the top of the page.
- Enter your business information, including legal name, address, and industry classification.
- Provide information about the business owner or authorized representative, including name, title, and contact information.
- Verify your information and submit your application.
- D&B will review your application and may contact you for additional information or documentation.
- Once your application is approved, D&B will assign a unique D‑U‑N‑S Number to your business and create a credit file.
FAQs About DUNS Numbers:
How much is a DUNS number?
Getting a DUNS Number is free of charge. D&B has some services that businesses can pay for. These services can help businesses make smart choices about giving credit or offering contracts.
Some of these services include keeping track of their credit and getting reports about their business credit.
Do you need a tax ID to get a DUNS number?
No, you do not need a tax ID to get a DUNS Number. However, you will need to provide some basic information about your business, including your legal name, address, and contact information.
How do I build business credit with my DUNS number?
Once you have a DUNS Number, you can start building your business credit by establishing credit accounts with vendors and suppliers, paying your bills on time, and maintaining a good credit history.
You can also monitor your credit score and credit report using D&B’s paid services to ensure that your business is on track and making progress.
Can a sole proprietor get a DUNS number?
Yes, a sole proprietor can get a DUNS Number. Even people who run a business alone might find it useful to have a DUNS Number. This can show that their business can be trusted and make it more likely for them to get loans or contracts.
Are DUNS numbers going away?
No, DUNS Numbers are still important even though the government has a new way to keep track of government contractors called the Unique Entity Identifier.
Businesses and groups use DUNS Numbers to figure out if other companies are trustworthy and can pay back money they owe.
Is there a fee to obtain a D-U-N-S Number?
Getting a D-U-N-S Number is free, but D&B also offers some services that businesses might want to pay for.
These services include keeping an eye on their credit, getting reports about their business credit, and using tools to help them make smart choices about offering credit or contracts.
A D-U-N-S Number is a special code given by Dun & Bradstreet to identify businesses and keep track of their credit history.
This code can help businesses prove they are trustworthy to people who might give them money or contracts.
It’s free to get a DUNS Number, but Dun & Bradstreet offers some services you can pay for to help keep an eye on your credit and make good choices about loans and contracts.
Whether you’re a small or big business, having a DUNS Number can help you keep your financial stability in good shape.