The DUNS Number is a numeric company identifier used to create and access your business credit report with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). D&B is the most widely used business credit reporting agency, so it’s essential to understand how to get a DUNS Number if your business doesn’t already have one. Thankfully, you can request your number quickly online or by calling a D&B representative.
What Is a DUNS Number?
Similar to your Social Security number for personal credit reports, the DUNS Number is a nine-digit identifier that’s attached to your D&B business credit report. D&B collects public and private information to compile a business credit report. However, owning and operating a business does not automatically mean you have a DUNS Number. You will need to request one to establish a business profile and build business credit with D&B.
Why You Need a DUNS Number
Since the DUNS Number is necessary for building business credit with D&B, you can’t effectively build your business credit without a D&B credit report. Lenders, potential partners, and consumers can use your company information to access your business credit report and review your financial standing at any time.
Companies and consumers alike use your D&B credit report as an essential resource. The DUNS Number is your key to qualifying for company loans and business credit cards. However, you may already have a D&B credit report as D&B collects public information to create business credit profiles. In that case, keeping a close eye on your D&B credit report is a good practice.
How Do I Look Up My DUNS Number?
You can look up your DUNS Number by visiting the D&B website and conducting a company search using your company information, including your name and location. If you already have a DUNS Number, you’ll see a page with your profile information along with the option to have your DUNS Number emailed to you. If you don’t see your company listed on the results page, you may need to request a DUNS Number instead.
How to Get DUNS Number
Applying for a DUNS Number is relatively easy, and you can do it all online. You can request a DUNS form through the D&B website and receive a unique DUNS Number within 30 days for free. If you need your number sooner, you can request expedited delivery (5 days), but that comes with a $229 fee. However, the online application isn’t the only way to request your number; you can also request a DUNS Number over the phone with a D&B representative by calling 800-234-3867.
1. Visit the D&B Website
Visit the D&B DUNS Number request page to get started. Click on the “GET STARTED” button to continue to the company search page. D&B starts each request with a company search to ensure you don’t request a duplicate DUNS Number:
2. Search Your Company
You can complete a company search using your business name and address. If your company information is in the system, it means that D&B already has a profile and DUNS Number for your business. You can then select your business name to view your business credit file since there’s no need to request a new DUNS Number:
3. Request a DUNS Number
If your business information doesn’t appear in the company search, you’ll see a message on the bottom of the page asking you to verify the information you entered was correct. If your business information appears correct, select the “Get a New D-U-N-S Number” on the bottom of the screen to move to the next step:
4. Choose Your Delivery
After the company search page, you’ll land on a page highlighting the D&B credit file packages available. You can select a credit file package of your choice to create a business profile and request a DUNS Number. There are multiple package options. However, selecting the “Credit Signal” package will get you a DUNS Number along with monthly credit alerts for free:
You’ll have the option to choose between standard 30-day delivery or expedited five-day delivery. However, if you’re a contractor for the US government, you can visit the D&B Federal government request site to get free expedited delivery. Once you receive your DUNS Number, you’ll be able to access and build your business credit profile.
These steps highlight how to request when you’re a US company. If your company is based outside the United States, you’ll need to contact D&B International Office to request a DUNS Number.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Although we’ve covered a lot of material around DUNS Numbers, the importance, and how to get one, I’d like to address some additional questions in this section. If you have a question or comment of your own, please feel free to leave it below, and we’ll respond.
1. Is a DUNS Number the same as a federal tax ID number?
No, Dun & Bradstreet issues the DUNS Number and is only associated with your business credit profile through that business credit bureau. A federal tax ID number, meanwhile, is issued by the IRS is linked to a person or business for tax purposes.
2. Can you have multiple DUNS Numbers?
Your DUNS Number is a unique identifier for your D&B business credit profile. Although an organization can have multiple DUNS Numbers issued to one physical location, only one DUNS Number is issued to each legal entity.
3. Do DUNS Numbers expire?
DUNS Numbers do not expire and will last for the life of your company. This number is issued only once by Duns & Bradstreet, and you do not need to renew or update this number.
To build credit with the most widely used business credit bureau, D&B, your company will need a DUNS Number. Requesting a DUNS Number is reasonably straightforward, but depending on the delivery time you select, getting one will either be free or cost up to $229. Regardless of your delivery time, it’s a good idea to monitor your business credit to ensure you have the best possible chance of future credit approval.