What Is a DUNS Number Used For?

what is a duns number forAs of April 4, 2022 the federal government has eliminated the use of a DUNS Number, and is now using the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Read our new blog Doing Business With the Government and UEI's

You may be wondering what a DUNS number is and what it's used for. Here's what you need to know about it.

What Is a DUNS Number?

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 "Paydex" score, from 0 to 100. 75 and above is considered an excellent score. This score can be compared to a credit score, but for the business. 

Once you have an account, you can check your score online. 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.

When Should I Get a DUNS Number?

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? 

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 through the company. 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.

To apply for a DUNS number, you will need to provide the following:

  • name of your organization
  • business address
  • owner's name
  • legal structure
  • formation date
  • nature of the business
  • number of employees

Who Is Dun & Bradstreet?

D&B has been helping companies since 1837, 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.

According to their website, "Dun & Bradstreet provides the only real business credit monitoring solution available to companies looking to monitor and impact their own business credit profile. Our leading credit monitoring products are used by hundreds of thousands of companies interested in helping protect their business reputation."

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.

Next: Benefits of Registering Your Trademark


*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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There are 2 comments left for What Is a DUNS Number Used For?

Meltic Online Sp/f said: Thursday, June 9, 2022

Hi i need a DUN number to be able to buy Microsoft Licenses from Also Actebis in Denmark, how can i get one ?

HBS Staff replied: Thursday, June 9, 2022

A DUNS Number is no longer recognized you will now need to obtain an Unique Entity Identifier via SAM.gov. You can read more about this in our new blog https://www.delawareinc.com/blog/ueis-replacing-duns-numbers/ 

Obiageli Chukwuneke said: Thursday, November 18, 2021

Is DUN number required for a company registered as Non Exempt Not for profit ?

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hi there, you may want to reach out to DUN directly to see if your business may qualify to have a DUN number. 

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