This article is part of a larger series on Business Financing.
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. Businesses can request a DUNS Number online or by calling a D&B representative.
Why You Need 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 doesn’t mean you have a DUNS Number automatically. You’ll need to request one to establish a business profile and build business credit with D&B. Business credit is one of the considerations that lenders look at when you apply for a small business loan.
In addition to lenders, potential partners and consumers can use your company information to access your business credit report and review your financial standing at any time.
How To Look Up Your 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 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 Your DUNS Number
Applying for a DUNS Number is relatively easy and can be done online through the D&B website. Once you apply, you’ll receive a unique DUNS Number within 30 days for free. If you need your number sooner, you can request expedited delivery (five days), but that comes with a $229 fee.
1. Visit the D&B Website
Visit the D&B DUNS Number request page to get started. D&B will ask you for the primary reason for requesting a number. If you’re a United States-based business that isn’t doing business with the federal government, select “I have a U.S. based business.” If you’re a contractor for the US government, you can visit the D&B Federal government request site and request your DUNS Number there.
2. Search Your Company
Next, D&B will ask for your business name and address. Upon hitting the search button, D&B’s database will check to see if your business is in their system. 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 at no cost or expedited five-day delivery, which costs $229. Once you receive your DUNS Number, you’ll be able to access and build your business credit profile.
A DUNS Number is needed to build business credit through Dun & Bradstreet. 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.