What Is a DUNS Number Used For?

By Devin Scott Wednesday, October 13, 2010

what is a duns number forWhat is a DUNS number used for? Do you need one for your company? These are common questions from business owners interested in obtaining a D&B DUNS number. Here's what you need to know.

A D&B DUNS number is a nine-digit number that is recognized as the universal standard to track businesses worldwide.  It is designed to enhance the credibility of your business and enable potential customers, lenders and suppliers to learn about your company. This number can be a major factor in business credit decisions. It will come with an attached score from 0 to 100, such as a grade would—75 and above is considered an excellent score. This score can be compared to a credit score, but for the business. Clients can easily go online to locate your score. If you market that you are listed with D&B and have a great score, this could be the determining factor on whether you will attract that client's business.

Clients often ask us, "What can I do to financially strengthen my business?" When a business first gets started, it does not have good credit. It does not have bad credit either. So what can you do to add trust to your business that has no past credit history? We may have the answer. With competition in the business world comes the need to adapt, and set your company apart. Getting a DUNS number for your company may be the right move for you to accomplish this. Typically, a person would form a corporation or LLC first, and then apply for the number. This is done so the number is connected to your company directly and not to your personal credit. Attaching it to your personal credit could possibly lower your score.

This number can be obtained by visiting Dun & Bradstreet online. To apply for a DUNS number, you will need to provide the name of your organization, address, owner's name, legal structure, formation date, the nature of the business and the number of employees. D&B has been helping companies for nearly 167 years, and their database contains over 140 million business records. It offers many other services, such as sales and marketing solutions, Internet tools and company research.

For more information on Dun & Bradstreet, or to obtain your DUNS number, go to  www.dnb.com. You can also obtain a DUNS number quickly via D&B's expedited service.

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