How to Get a DUNS Number Fast/Free + Definition/Meaning

BusinessCreditBureausDun & Bradstreet
7 min read

Every small business needs a DUNS number fast to showcase the financial health indicators found in their Dun & Bradstreet business credit report. There is no cost to apply for this unique nine-digit identifier that federal government contracts require, but it can take 6 weeks to receive a free DUNS number, while the price of fast expedited services is $229.

Meaning

What does DUNS mean? The DUNS number definition is found in its full name; Data Universal Numbering System.

In essence, the Dun & Bradstreet number meaning is that it’s simply a unique, nine-digit business identifier associated with a single business entity and linked to their credit profile.


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How to Get

If you’re wondering how to create a DUNS number, it’s as easy as visiting the Dun and Bradstreet registration page. After filling in some basic business details you can get your free DUNS number approved in less than 30 business days. When applying D&B won’t ask for your social security number, or your employer identification number, just for company information, and physical location details.

The registration page will request your reason for wanting a DUNS number issued, which you can easily select from the dropdown menu choices. Next, you’ll be asked to provide the following company information to check for matches of existing D-U-N-S numbers.

  1. Business name, street address, and phone number
  2. State, city, zip code where your business operates

If a database scan shows no matching results, you can proceed to the registration page and enter the following business information.

  1. Primary type of business
  2. Company name, legal status, and year business was founded
  3. Name of CEO or founder, and your organizational structure
  4. Total number of employees (regular, contractual, and part-time)

After your application has been submitted you will have to wait up to 6 weeks before it gets approved. During this time, a D&B representative will call you to confirm your business details. Do note that they will also try to offer some upsells, which we recommend turning down as there are cheaper options available.

Fast

To get a D&B number, you have to open a Dun & Bradstreet business credit profile. When you purchase a DUNSfile for $229 that will speed up the application process to the tune of 5 business days or less.

If you need a DUNS number fast you to immediately start building your business credit score, it will cost $229 to create a DUNSfile which comes with 5-day quick approval.

Once you have a DUNS number, you can start to build business credit through easy approval net 30 vendors, lenders, and financial institutions. Potential business partners will also likely review your D&B profile to see if you are a creditworthy business that pays its invoices on time.

Free

Don’t be fooled by what other third parties say, anyone can get a free DUNS number just by applying on the dnb.com website.

There are no exceptions, everyone who applies for a D-U-N-S through the D&B website can get their D-U-N-S number approved within 30 business days.

Apple Developers

If you can’t wait that long, your only other options are to apply as an Apple Developer, pay extra for speedy approval by buying a DUNSfile, or by purchasing a D-U-N-S Registered Seal (Asia only).

You can also get an expedited approval process for free by registering your DUNS number through the Apple developer system. Potential partners and publishers on the Apple App Store are already required to have a DUNS number to get approved to sell company apps.

If you have a legal business entity (not a sole proprietorship, DBA, trade name, etc.), you can also get receive expedited service for free through Apple’s partnership with Dun & Bradstreet.

To get the 5-business-day service, you must already have an Apple Developer account, as you’re required to sign in to use Apple’s DUNS lookup service. Do not select expedited service when applying as you’ll already be getting it for free from Apple.

If 5 business days have passed and you have not received your DUNS number yet, you can then contact DNB support through the Apple customer link who will make sure you get it quickly.

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DUNSfile

If you want to establish business credit quickly, you can bypass the free DUNS number processing time of up to 30 business days by creating a DUNSfile. For everyone but Apple Developers, the cost is $229.

When applying for your Dun and Bradstreet DUNS number online, small businesses will be asked if they want to expedite application approval by purchasing a DUNSfile. Along with speedy approval in less than 5 business days, this extra feature also allows you easily access all the details of your company’s D&B business credit file, and business credit history.

Registered Seals

Depending on which country you’ve registered your business in Asia, you might have to purchase D-U-N-S registered seals to get expedited D&B DUNS registered. At times, this speedy process can take less than 24 hours, and also includes rights for you to display a D&B seal on your company website, and in emails.

Prices for DUNS registered seals vary from region to region, as does the approval timeline. Payments, however, are generally made in the local currency with approvals using being within 5 business days or less.

In some countries like India and Singapore, they’ve even tried to make buying the registered seal mandatory, so try to register for a DUNS number for free on dnb.com first before dealing with any other D&B number business.

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Price

There are two prices for obtaining a D-U-N-S number, with the first being absolutely free. There is no cost at all when applying on the DNB website, but there is an issuing delay of up to 6 weeks. If you want to get their expedited approval service, you’ll have to pay for the DUNSfile upsell.

Upsells

When you register at dnb.com, you will be asked if you want to purchase two things that you probably don’t need. If you simply wait out the normal approval process you’ll get your D-U-N-S number for free in less than 6 weeks.

  1. DUNSfile – $229 one-time payment for fast 5-day approval
  2. CreditBuilder – $149-$199 per month subscription

The DUNSfile is mostly just the expedited service. If you simply can’t wait to start building up your PAYDEX score you’ll either have to pay the $229 fee for expedited approval or get a DUNS number via Apple Developer.

The CreditBuilder program is NOT for new businesses, so don’t be fooled even if a D&B representative calls you to say you absolutely need it. The main features of these programs are below, but there are much cheaper options available.

  • Monitor your D&B business credit report and get access alerts
  • Manually submit tradeline references that don’t automatically to your credit file

With Nav Business Boost (just $40/mo) you can also view your full D&B credit report and manually submit trade references too, while also getting access and alerts to your Experian, Equifax, and Transunion business and personal credit reports. On top of that, you’ll get $1M in identity theft insurance and free wallet replacement coverage. If you know of a better deal than that, please let us know!

DUNS vs EIN

Your EIN (Employer Identification Number) is issued by the Internal Revenue Service while the DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) is issued by the Dun & Bradstreet credit bureau. When comparing DUNS Number vs EIN directly, both are unique identifiers issued to legal business entities that can be required to build business credit, but that’s where the similarities end.

While an EIN is a requirement on many business credit applications, it’s also used for hiring employees, and filing taxes with the IRS. A D-U-N-S number on the other hand is only used in conjunction with D&B business credit ratings and scores.

When building credit for your business, having an EIN is mandatory for all but a few net 30 vendors for new businesses, it’s also a requirement when applying for business credit cards and fleet gas cards. A DUNS number, however, is only required when applying to credit suppliers who report to Dun & Bradstreet.

When newly formed small businesses build credit through Tier 1 vendors, they’ll want to include as many tradelines that report to D&B, Experian, and Equifax. Whereas once ready to secure a business loan, or mainstream business cards that require a personal guarantee, you’ll find they are only likely to view your Experian credit reports, Equifax reports, and FICO scores.

FAQ

Below you’ll find answers to our frequently asked questions about the D&B number meaning, how to apply for a free D-U-N-S number and get fast expedited approval. You can also learn why maintaining a good Dun & Bradstreet rating is so important to your business.

1 min read

Follow these 7 steps to register a duns number and open your business profile at Dun & Bradstreet. Within 3 to 6 months of proper credit building, you should see a vast improvement in your business credit ratings and overall credibility.

  1. Create D-U-N-S number
  2. Wait up to 30 business days to receive your D&B number for business or pay to get expedited approval.
  3. Apply for at least three net 30 vendor tradelines that report to Dun & Bradstreet
  4. Get monthly credit reporting by ordering products or services that meet the minimum vendor purchase requirement
  5. Fill out your D&B profile with essential company information, comprehensive financial data, and employee stats to get net worth and credit appraisal ratings.
  6. Pay your net 30 invoices as quickly as possible (within 0-7 days) to obtain the highest PAYDEX score per transaction
  7. Apply to more Tier 1 net 30 accounts until you have at least 5-8 tradelines reporting regularly, then start applying to Tier 2 vendors, store credit cards, and business credit cards.
1 min read

Your company can register for a D-U-N-S Number through Dun & Bradstreet at their official dnb.com website. Do not try to register using any third-party sites, and be sure you fill out all necessary information when applying for a DUNS number.

1 min read

After registering for a DUNS number, you’ll typically receive it within 30 business days (6 weeks). You can also get an expedited duns number by paying $229 to create a DUNSfile which allows for application processing in 5 business days or less. You can also obtain a duns number quickly for free if you’re an Apple Developer.

1 min read

You can get expedited DUNS number service by opening a DUNSFile at DNB, which costs $229 and will speed up your approval to less than 5 business days. If you’re an Apple developer, you can get the same fast process for free through their system.

Lastly, for those in Asia, there are DUNS Register Seals, which has an even faster process, but also lots of false websites selling it. Unfortunately, the CCR government contractor loophole has been closed with the opening of the System for Award Management at sam.gov.

1 min read

Anyone can get a DUNS number for free just by applying on the D&B website, but it can take up to 30 business days to receive it. If you need fast D-U-N-S approval to build credit quickly, you’ll need to either register as an Apple Developer or pay $229 to register your DUNSfile which comes with an express 5-day approval service.

1 min read

The keys to building credit fast with your D-U-N-S number are to:

  1. Apply for as many tradelines that report to Dun & Bradstreet as you can
  2. Pay all your invoices as early as possible (30 days before due = 100 PAYDEX score)
  3. Keep your D&B credit profile up-to-date with accurate financial and employee data

As you build up your business profile and D&B ratings, the more creditworthy you become, and the faster you can start applying for Tier 2 business credit.

1 min read

DUNS numbers are linked to your business credit file at Dun & Bradstreet which gets reviewed when you apply for federal grants or contracts. While, a SAM registration is needed to receive payments from a government contract in the System for Award Management at sam.gov. Be sure to enter the same information when applying for both so there are no discrepancies between the two profiles.

1 min read

No, but multiple D-U-N-S numbers can be issued if your business operates numerous legal entities, or has a varying legal structure, such as separate branches or subsidiaries. One DUN number could be used to represent your legal entity in Los Angeles while a second could be attached to your New York location. You can also use separate DUNS numbers to separate internal branches of a single business, such as departments that serve different industries.

1 min read

No, a D-U-N-S number is standard business identifier assigned within Dun & Bradstreet’s proprietary system that is attached to D&B credit file. This is separate from an EIN or TIN (tax ID number) which are assigned by the IRS to file your taxes.

1 min read

It’s a data universal number system and the most widely used method for identifying businesses and corporate entities via a unique, nine-digit code. D-U-N-S numbers are directly linked to their Dun and Bradstreet business credit profile where lenders can review relevant corporate information including past payment history, credibility, and creditworthiness.

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