Table of Contents
- How the Dun and Bradstreet Report Works
- Who the Dun and Bradstreet Report Is Right For
- Dun and Bradstreet Report Costs
- Dun and Bradstreet Report Features
- How to Get a D&B Report
- Pros & Cons of the Dun and Bradstreet Report
- Alternatives to the Dun and Bradstreet Report
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About D&B Reports
- Bottom Line
The Dun and Bradstreet report is one of the most popular credit reports for businesses. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is a credit reporting agency that collects public and private information to produce a comprehensive credit profile. D&B also provides business credit scores called PAYDEX® scores that range from 1 to 100.
The D&B business credit report shows a variety of company information, including operational data and public filings like liens and bankruptcies. Creditors review the information on your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. Business owners looking to get approved for loans will likely have their D&B credit reports checked first. Owners can pull their credit reports by using their D-U-N-S® Number or company name to search the D&B website.
How the Dun and Bradstreet Report Works
Dun & Bradstreet uses data taken from public records as well as information reported directly from vendors and collection agencies. This report shows the overall health and status of a business. D&B scores companies in five ways, including the PAYDEX® score, which is performance-based. The remaining three scores predict and estimate future company behavior. Creditors use these scores for loan approval and to set interest rates.
“It’s incredibly important to check for a D&B report even if you haven’t created one yourself,” says Tracy Becker, founder and president of the business credit experts at North Shore Advisory and a FICO®-certified professional. “If there’s a file on you created by your creditors and you don’t know about it, you’ll want to see it and improve it.
The five Dun & Bradstreet credit score offers are:
- PAYDEX® score: Rates ability to pay debts based on the previous two years. Much like a personal FICO® score, it’s used most often to determine creditworthiness. Scores range from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best.
- D&B rating: Averages a company’s financial strength based on balance statements, company size, and business age. It’s made up of two scores: the financial strength rating, which is coded with letters and numbers based on company size, and the risk indicator score, which ranges from 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest risk and 1 being the lowest risk.
- Delinquency predictor score: Predicts the likelihood of a company becoming delinquent or ceasing operations in the next 12 months. This score is classified in three ways: a percentile (1 to 100, with 100 being the lowest risk ), a class (1 to 5 with 1 being the lowest risk), and a raw score (101 to 670, with 670 being the lowest risk).
- Failure score: Indicates the likelihood that a company will face financial stress over the next 12 months. Scores are shown in three components: a percentile (1 to 100, with 1 being the highest risk), a class (1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest risk), and a raw score, (1,001 to 1,875, with the lowest number indicating highest risk).
- Viability rating: Rates the likelihood a company will go out of business or become insolvent. Scores are made up of four indicators: viability score (1 to 9 with 1 representing the lowest risk), portfolio comparison (1 to 9, with 1 being the best), data depth code (A through M), and the company profile code (A through Z).
A Dun & Bradstreet report can either be self-generated or generated by a third party. Like your personal credit, your Dun & Bradstreet report improves with solid payment history, well-managed credit balances, and accurate business information. Companies making late payments to vendors will have that activity listed on their D&B report, which will negatively impact credit scores.
Alternatively, timely vendor payments will reflect well on your report and can raise your credit score. Anyone with your business information can access your D&B report. As a result, credit inquiries have little to no impact on your business credit.
Who the Dun and Bradstreet Report Is Right For
The Dun & Bradstreet report is best for both business owners and creditors looking for detailed business information. Companies that want financing through loans or other means will need an established credit history. The D&B credit report is a great resource for potential business partners and creditors looking to verify company history, business age, and financial trustworthiness.
“A lot of business lenders check your business credit without telling you. All they need is permission for your personal credit, which is why they ask about it upfront. While it isn’t the biggest determining factor, it could very well decide whether your business is approved for a loan or not.
“Smart business people with good credit will often print out their D&B report and include it along with a bid to a potential account or partner. What this does is it causes the potential account or partner to pull the D&B reports of competing companies. If the business’s credit is better than the rest, it might win them the deal.”
The D&B report is best for the following situations:
- Businesses that want to build credit: Companies with little to no business credit can establish business credit with a Dun & Bradstreet credit profile. Businesses can also self-report up to 12 months of positive payment activity with a CreditBuilder™ service package.
- Businesses that need financing: Companies that need funding can improve their odds of approval with a D&B credit report showing consistent payment history and high credit scores. Lenders often use the D&B report to determine a company’s creditworthiness.
- Companies negotiating with vendors: Owners negotiating terms with suppliers can use their D&B report to demonstrate good payment history with other vendors.
- Creditors: Creditors can pull D&B reports on potential borrowers before approving credit.
D&B business reports are also helpful to owners looking to qualify potential business partners before establishing an agreement. The additional information you receive from a Dun & Bradstreet report can act as proof of company viability and historical financial responsibility. Owners can see detailed information on company ownership in relation to other businesses in that industry.
Dun and Bradstreet Report Costs
Companies that have a Dun & Bradstreet credit profile also have a nine-digit D-U-N-S® Number. Requesting a D-U-N-S® Number is free, but businesses that opt for the five-day expedited delivery will have to pay $229 for it. Dun & Bradstreet also offers four different service packages, one of which offers free credit report access for seven days. Services with longer access times start at $149.
The cost to get a D&B credit report are:
- D-U-N-S® Number: $0 for a standard request, delivered within 30 business days; $229 for expedited delivery within five business days.
- CreditSignal®: $0 to receive monthly alerts on credit score changes. This option doesn’t include credit reports or credit scores.
- CreditBuilder™ Free: $0 for seven-day access to your credit report with D&B scores and ratings.
- CreditBuilder™ Plus: $149 to add up to 12 positive payments. This option comes with a free D-U-N-S® Number and credit file delivered in five days or less.
- CreditBuilder™ Premium: $199 for an unlimited number of trade references to add to your credit report with alerts on the companies you submitted as trade references. It also comes with a free D-U-N-S® Number and credit file delivered in five days or less.
Businesses can view a credit report snapshot online or sign up for one of the monthly memberships for access to the full credit report. The CreditSignal® option includes credit score changes but doesn’t include actual credit scores or credit reports. Dun & Bradstreet also offers businesses a Credibility Concierge® package where owners are assigned their own credit specialist. Owners should contact Dun & Bradstreet directly for pricing.
Dun and Bradstreet Report Features
The D&B report includes a variety of business information, including a late payment indicator, detailed company profile view, and delinquency risk score. Depending on the type of services purchased, owners can also view the number of lawsuits filed against the company. D&B creates its credit profiles with information pulled from more than 30,000 private and public sources.
The information included in the D&B report is:
The D&B company profile section provides a summary that includes company size and ownership. This section also shows the company’s contact information, industry classification, and overall business history. This is where you’ll also find a delinquency score rating as well as a failure score rating as an overview. Businesses looking to confirm the business information can view the number of company employees as well as the state where it was registered.
The company section of the Dun & Bradstreet report includes the following information:
- D-U-N-S® number
- Failure score
- Delinquency score
- Business age and employees
- Legal form
- History record
- State of incorporation
- Named principal
- Company industry
Owners can view company size and the number of years the company has been in business. Lenders and vendors often use this information to gauge if a company is a viable option for credit. Business owners can verify their own information is correct and identify errors that need to be corrected. Owners can also view their own failure score to understand how creditors and lenders view their business’s potential risk.
This subsection of the company profile includes a more detailed view of business data, including the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). D&B also lists the company’s financial status as either good, fair, or unbalanced. This ratio compares the company in question to other businesses in the same industry.
The business activities on the D&B credit report are:
- Business information
- SIC/NAICS information
- Government activity
D&B also tags the company’s financing status as either secured or unsecured to indicate if the company has collateral associated with the business. The information provided in the section is not self-reported. If there’s a discrepancy in this section, owners will need to contact D&B to initiate an investigation for correction.
The risk assessment dashboard is the most in-depth section of the D&B credit report. The information included here highlights Dun & Bradstreet’s rating systems. These ratings provide insight into the company’s most important risk factors as well as the overall health of the business. Here, owners will be able to see the recommended maximum amount of credit for the company shown.
The overall business risk rating provides a color-coded risk level indicating the company’s composite rating of all five scores. This status will be highlighted as Low, Low-Moderate, Moderate, Moderate-High, or High. Most D&B risk indicators are represented in multiple ways, including raw scores.
The five Dun & Bradstreet report scores are:
Ranked on a scale from low to high, the D&B viability score evaluates a company’s probability of bankruptcy or going out of business. With the portfolio comparison score, owners can see how the company ranks compared to other businesses in the same industry. This rating uses information from financial statements, trade payments, and other business activities.
Viability scores are made up of four different components including the viability score (1 to 9 with one representing the lowest risk), portfolio comparison (1 to 9, with one being the best), data depth code (A through M), and the company profile code (A through Z). Ratings are most often represented on a portfolio comparison scale from 1 to 9 (as shown above).
Failure score, formerly known as the financial stress score
Similar to Equifax, the D&B report also has a failure score that allows owners to predict a company’s risk level. However, Equifax’s score ranges from 1,000 to 1,880. Based on previous payment history, this tool indicates to creditors and lenders how likely the company is to default on payments or file for bankruptcy.
The failure score is illustrated in three ways, including as a percentile (1 to 100, with 1 being the highest risk), a class (1 to 5, with one being the lowest risk), and a raw score, (1,001 to 1,875, with 1,001 being the highest risk). However, the failure score is most often shown as a rating from 100 to 1. A failure score of 43 indicates that the company has a moderate level of risk.
The 12-month delinquency score is illustrated in the graph
Like the failure score and viability score, the delinquency score can be made up of three components. These include a percentile (1 to 100, with 100 being the lowest risk ), a class (1 to 5 with 1 being the lowest risk), and a raw score (101 to 670, with 670 being the lowest risk). Even though this score is made up of several numbers, the delinquency score is often represented as a score from 1 to 100 (as shown above).
The D&B PAYDEX® score is one of the most commonly used credit scores for businesses. The PAYDEX® score, much like a personal FICO® score, indicates a company’s overall credit profile based on vendor payment history. The D&B PAYDEX® score ranges from 0 on the low end to 100 on the high end. A PAYDEX® score of 80 is a solid indicator that the company pays vendors regularly and on time. A payment of 100 indicates the company regularly pays early.
The Dun & Bradstreet report also includes an overall D&B rating. This risk assessment tool indicates a company’s financial strength based on balance statements, company size, public records, and business age. The financial strength rating is represented by a letter and number combination based on company size. For example, a company with a financial strength score of 5A has 50 million in sales or higher.
The risk indicator score, or composite credit appraisal score, ranges from 1 to 4, with one being the lowest risk. Businesses that lack sufficient financial statements will be assigned a risk indicator score of 1 or 2.
Business owners interested in vendor and trade relationships will find that information in the trade payment section. The Dun & Bradstreet credit report highlights the types of trade accounts each company has, including the total value of each tradeline. Viewers can see past due amounts at a glance as well as the number of days the vendor reported the account as late.
This section shows up to 80 of the most recent tradelines associated with the company. It also provides the largest tradeline amount as well as the amount still owed for each tradeline. Businesses can also see the total credit amount, the terms of the tradeline, and what percentage of payments were late. Because trade payments are a reflection of company size, ratings more heavily weigh larger trade payments over smaller ones.
Businesses can view legal records, such as liens and bankruptcies, under the legal events section. This part of the D&B report shows the number of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings, lawsuits, and judgments the company has. It also includes any Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) statements. Creditors may view a company that has several liens, judgments, and lawsuits as high risk.
Dun & Bradstreet credit report viewers can see the company’s ownership in connection with other businesses. The family tree section takes a global look at the majority-owned subsidiaries and how they’re connected to other companies with the same majority-owned subsidiary. The purpose of this tool is for business owners to see the company’s size and locations as well as verify their business information. This can also highlight unsavory company connections.
How to Get a D&B Report
Business owners can get a Dun & Bradstreet report by visiting the provider’s website. You can either pull a credit report on your company or another company. Owners can access their own credit reports by searching their D-U-N-S® Number or company name. If you don’t already have a D-U-N-S® Number, you will have the option to request one.
1. Visit the D&B Report Website
You can get your own Dun & Bradstreet report online on the D&B website. Once you’re on the first page, you’ll need to click on “D-U-N-S Number Lookup” under the “D-U-N-S Number” dropdown menu. If you don’t have your D-U-N-S® Number, you also can locate your company by name and state. Click on “Company Search” in the top right corner of the search to search by your business name.
2. Search Your Company
With the name search, you’ll need to enter your company name in the “Search for a Company” field and select the state. Next, select the “Yes” or “No” radio option button next to “Is this your business?” You’ll then see a screen listing your company name and street address as well as the city and state it’s located. Click on the field that correctly lists your company information. You’ll be taken to a product page where you have the option of selecting the package you’d like.
Next, you’ll be taken to a purchase page where you can select the services you’d like and then add them to your cart. Descriptions are listed under each package along with monthly costs. You can also pay using the annual payment option if you prefer to opt-out of monthly charges.
Once you’ve selected your product, you can click the “Continue to Checkout” button located on the popup screen. If you’re not already registered on the site, you can then signup. Fill in your name, email address, and select a password. Once you’re registered, you’ll be able to select your payment options and complete the purchase and view your credit profile online.
Pros & Cons of the Dun and Bradstreet Report
The Dun & Bradstreet report is one of the most widely used credit reports for businesses. Like other credit bureaus, Dun & Bradstreet has both advantages and disadvantages, including popularity and cost of purchase.
Pros of the Dun and Bradstreet Report
The pros of getting a Dun & Bradstreet credit report are:
- Popularity: The D&B report is popular among creditors and lenders. Creditors are most likely to use this profile and score to determine creditworthiness.
- Building business credit: Businesses can add up to 12 months of vendor payments in good standing to boost their credit scores. Owners looking to build business credit can do so with D&B.
- Self-reporting options: It’s in a company’s best interest to add as much information as possible to the D&B credit report to ensure accurate and positive information is listed. It can add validity by establishing a single location where others can verify payment history, company information, and risk factors.
Cons of the Dun and Bradstreet Report
The cons of getting a D&B credit report are:
- Cost: A standalone credit report cost $189, and credit report access longer than seven days cost a $149 monthly fee on the low end. Experian offers one-time credit reports as low as $99.95.
- D-U-N-S Number: Businesses that do not have this number must apply for one to establish a D&B credit report. This could take up to 30 days to receive.
- Inaccuracies: Since most business credit bureaus collect private and public information using just your business name and address, it’s easier to have discrepancies on a D&B report than on a consumer credit report.
“The difference between personal credit and business credit is that there are a lot fewer regulations with business credit,” Becker says. “For example, anyone can pull your business credit without permission. If you have an incomplete D&B file with only late payments reported by creditors, it can hurt you. This is why you should always create your own D&B report and update it at least once a quarter.”
Alternatives to the Dun and Bradstreet Report
The Dun & Bradstreet credit report offers one of the most comprehensive credit reports for businesses but keeping track of your D&B credit report can get expensive. Owners looking for alternatives might be interested in using information from other business credit bureaus instead, including Experian and Equifax. Each bureau has its own scoring system, but they all collect company information to determine your business credit score.
Equifax is a well-known credit bureau that services both consumer and business credit profiles. Equifax provides three risk indicator scores, including business payment index score, business credit risk score, and business failure score. Like their consumer reports, Equifax factors in your company’s total available credit when calculating your business credit score.
Experian offers credit scores called Intelliscore. Companies are rated on a scale from 1 to 100, with 1 being the highest risk and 100 being the lowest risk. Experian’s rating is based on public records, collections, vendor payments, and overall business information. This business credit score is most commonly used by lenders and banks, so owners looking for loans should know this score. Unlike D&B, Experian doesn’t allow companies to self-report information.
FICO® SBSSSM Score
The FICO® SBSSSM score, much like the consumer version, provides a business credit score based on all three business credit bureaus. FICO® SBSSSM score uses information from D&B, Equifax, and Experian to rate a business on a scale of 0 to 300, with 300 being the highest score. Owners looking to get approved for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans will most likely need to understand this score since the FICO® SBSSSM score is most popular with SBA lenders.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About D&B Reports
We covered a lot of information regarding the Dun & Bradstreet credit report, including business credit scores. In this section, we address the questions that are most commonly asked.
How much does a Dun and Bradstreet report cost?
You can get a Dun & Bradstreet report as either a one-time purchase or with a monthly service package. A standalone D&B credit report will cost $189 while the service packages range from $149 to $199 and above. You can also access your credit report free for seven days with the CreditBuilder Free package.
How do I get a copy of my D&B report?
You can get a D&B report by going to the Dun & Bradstreet website and searching with your company name or D-U-N-S® Number. If your company doesn’t already have a profile on the site, you’ll need to apply for a D-U-N-S® Number before getting a credit report.
How does D&B get their information?
The D&B report is based on a combination of privately reported and public information. Dun & Bradstreet also collects legal filings like judgments, liens, lawsuits, and bankruptcies. Companies are also allowed to self-report information. However, Dun & Bradstreet verifies all information, whether self-reported or reported by a third party.
The Dun & Bradstreet report uses business information collected from more than 30,000 sources to create a comprehensive business credit report. This information includes publicly and privately collected data along with five scores that measure a company’s credit and risk. The D&B report will most likely benefit owners looking to establish business credit, get approved for loans, or screen other businesses.