DUNS is an acronym for Data Universal Numbering System and is managed by the Dunn and Bradstreet (D&B) company. D&B is well known as a data & business credit reporting agency that helps vendors assess the risk of extending credit to their customers.
The DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier issued by Dun & Bradstreet. This identification number is assigned to a business, so the company can easily be identified through data reports.
What is a DUNS number, and why is it important?
DUNS is a data element crucial in helping enterprises understand which companies are doing business with theirs and track the company’s creditworthiness, payment history, and financial stability. It can also help you contact a vendor or a third-party service provider of your own, such as a data bureau that tracks data about your company.
The nine-digit DUNS number is used to establish a business’s credit history and build credibility and creditworthiness with lenders, suppliers, and potential partners. The business profile is put into a database with 250 million other companies as part of a credit reporting service for businesses, similar to how credit bureaus like Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian do for an individual’s credit report.
DUNS numbers are required to apply for government contracts and often receive state and federal grant applications.
To list an app in the Apple Store, a business will also require a DUNS number.
How much does a DUNS number cost?
There is no fee for a DUNS number. However, D&B will often try and sell their credit monitoring services, which aren’t required.
How do you get a DUNS number?
A DUNS number is assigned by Dun & Bradstreet to businesses not in the public domain under the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) provisions or another government contract. FSS data can be used for business credit, data comparison, and risk analysis purposes.
You can register for a DUNS number by applying online, calling 866-705-5711, or faxing a letter of registration to 800-873-1413.
Required information includes:
- Legal name of the business entity
- Physical address of the business
- Phone number
- Name of the business owner
- Legal structure or type of business (corporation, partnership, proprietorship, etc.)Year the organization was created
- EIN / TIN
- Primary business activity
- Total number of employees
How long does it take to get a DUNS number?
It usually takes 1-2 business days to get your DUNS number.
How is a DUNS number different from a SAM registration?
The System for Award Management (SAM) is managed by the United States Government and used to designate vendors that can do business with the US Federal Government. The DUNS number has its own data format compared to the SAM data format so that companies can be identified in data reports.
Is a DUNS number the same as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)?
No. While the FEIN is also a unique nine-digit number, the FEIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify business entities.