This article is part of a larger series on Business Financing.
The Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) business credit report is a popular tool for businesses and lenders. The report shows a variety of company information, including operational data and public filings, such as liens and bankruptcies. D&B also provides business credit scores called PAYDEX® scores that range from 1 to 100, using data taken from public records and information reported directly from vendors and collection agencies. D&B reports can be either self-generated or generated by a third party and show the overall health and status of a business.
If you’re wondering how does Dun and Bradstreet work, here’s a typical scenario. 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. Business owners can pull their credit reports by using their DUNS Number or company name to search the D&B website. Similar to your personal credit, your D&B report improves with solid payment history, well-managed credit balances, and accurate business information.
Dun & Bradstreet Report Costs
Costs associated with a Dun & Bradstreet report are:
- DUNS 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—doesn’t include credit reports or credit score
- CreditBuilder™ Plus: $149 per month to add up to 12 positive payments—comes with a free DUNS® Number and credit file delivered in five days or less
- CreditBuilder™ Premium: $199 per month for an unlimited number of trade references to add to your credit report with alerts on the companies you submitted as trade references—comes with a free DUNS® Number and credit file delivered in five days or less
- Business Information Report™ On Demand: $189 per year to access one credit report for one company one time—the report includes complete company information
Businesses can request standalone reports online or sign up for a monthly membership for regular credit report access. Dun & Bradstreet also offers businesses a Credibility Concierge® package where owners are assigned their own credit specialists.
Dun & 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, business 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 D&B company profile section 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 information on a company can view the number of employees as well as the state where it was registered.
The D&B report also shows company size and the number of years it has been in business. Lenders and vendors use this information to gauge if a company is a viable option for credit. Business owners can verify that 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’ potential risk.
This subsection of the company profile includes a description of the company’s line of business, number of employees, facilities, and location. D&B also lists the company’s financial status as either strong, good, fair, or unbalanced. This ratio compares the company in question to other businesses in the same industry.
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. This section’s information isn’t self-reported. Owners will need to contact D&B to initiate an investigation for correction if there’s a discrepancy.
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.
Dun & Bradstreet Report Scores
D&B scores companies in five ways:
- PAYDEX® Score: This 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: This rating averages a company’s financial strength based on balance statements, company size, and business age. The rating is made up of two scores: financial strength, coded with letters and numbers based on company size, and the risk indicator score ranging from 1 to 4 (with 1 being the lowest risk).
- Delinquency Predictor Score: This 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: This 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: This rates the likelihood of a company going out of business or becoming 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).
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 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 will more heavily weigh larger trade payments.
Businesses can view legal records, such as liens, bankruptcies, the number of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings, lawsuits, and judgments the company has under the legal events section. It also includes any Personal Privacy Security Act (PPSA) statements. Creditors may view a company that has several liens, judgments, and lawsuits as higher risk.
The Dun & Bradstreet credit report includes 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 and verify their business information. This can also highlight unsavory company connections.
Who the Dun & Bradstreet Report Is Right For
The D&B report is best suited 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 that shows consistent payment history and high credit scores. Lenders often use the D&B report to determine a company’s creditworthiness.
- Companies negotiating with vendors: Business 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 prior to establishing an agreement. The additional information you receive from a Dun & Bradstreet report can act as proof of company viability and historical financial responsibility. Business owners can see detailed information on company ownership in relation to other businesses in that industry.
How to Get a D&B Report
There are three steps to getting a Dun & Bradstreet credit report.
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 “DUNS Number Lookup” under the “DUNS Number” dropdown menu. If you don’t have your DUNS Number, you can locate your company by name and state. Click on “Search Companies, Content, Industries” at the top of the page 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 field. You’ll then see a screen listing your company name, street address, and the city and state where it’s located. Click on the field that correctly lists your company information. You’ll be taken to the company’s D&B profile page where you can claim your business listing by clicking “claim this company.” Then, you’ll then create an account with D&B if you don’t have one or log in.
Next, you’ll proceed 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. If you prefer, you can also pay using the annual payment option. Once you’ve selected your product, you can click the “Continue to Checkout” button located on the popup screen. You’ll be able to select your payment options, complete the purchase, and view your credit profile online.
Pros & Cons of the Dun & 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 like popularity and disadvantages, such as cost of purchase. It also requires consistent self-monitoring by business owners to ensure their report is accurate.
|D&B report is popular with many lenders and creditors||Costs for reports are expensive for some business owners|
|Necessary to get if you wish to pursue contracts with state and federal governments||Receiving your DUNS number can take up to a month unless you pay for expedited delivery|
|Allows you to self-report information on your business||Requires frequent monitoring to ensure accuracy|
Alternatives to the Dun & 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 these options, which are obtainable through Nav:
- Equifax: Equifax provides a business payment index score, business credit risk score, and business failure score. Just like their consumer reports, Equifax factors in your company’s total available credit when calculating your business credit risk score.
- Experian: Experian offers credit scores called Intelliscores. Companies are rated on a scale from 1 to 100, with 1 being the highest 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 business owners looking for loans should know this score. Unlike D&B, Experian doesn’t allow companies to self-report information.
- FICO® SBSS℠: The FICO® SBSS℠ score provides a business credit score based on all three business credit bureaus. The FICO® SBSS℠ 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. The FICO® SBSS℠ score is popular with Small Business Association (SBA) lenders; businesses typically need a score of at least 160 to qualify for SBA loans.
The Dun & Bradstreet report uses business information collected from over 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 business owners looking to establish business credit, obtain a small business loan, or screen other businesses.