DUNS Numbers Guide

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Get a DUNS Number right after registering your business to start developing credit tradelines and quickly build up your credit history. Good Dun & Bradstreet ratings are an essential piece of fast loan approvals and a key cog of thriving businesses.

If you already own a business that has bad credit, taking the time and effort to build up your D&B rating will go a long way in helping expand your tradelines, and increase your chances of attaining better business loans and credit.

Below you’ll find all the information you need to know about DUNS numbers and why they are so important, as well as, how you can get fast approval.

What Is It?

If the D&B brand name is new to you, you’re probably wondering, what the heck is a DUNS Number anyway?

DUNS numbers are unique, nine-digit business identifiers that are associated with a single business entity and linked to their credit profile. Since 1963, Dun & Bradstreet has been issuing them, and recording data about tradeline and credit activity that is reported to them from issuers of credit.

D&B Ratings

Their ratings range from A through F, with A being the best and F being the worst. If your credit is in good standing, you’ll get an A rating and this alone can greatly help you get a business loan approved.

Why Dun & Bradstreet

So why does Dun & Bradstreet matter as the issuer? First, you must understand that Duns and Bradstreet collect credit data for businesses registered in its database and shares it with state banks, international organizations, and governments.

Duns and Bradstreet treat the DUNS number as an integral part of your business operations. This works in conjunction with the DUNSRight technology of the company, which collects, matches, identifies, relates, and enriches data of registered businesses.

The DUNS number business identification is very trustworthy. More than 300 million businesses worldwide have opted to get it. So far, there are no existing reports which state that Duns and Bradstreet used the collected data for malicious purposes.

How Does it Work?

How does the DUNS Number work for your business? The best answer is simply, easier approval for business loans. If your DUNS number has a good rating attached to it, more people are likely to do business with you, and extend you credit.

Once you get a DUNS number, your company becomes a Live Business Identity, meaning that its data becomes comprehensively recorded in Duns and Bradstreet’s data cloud. Data elements that are recorded include sales, tax registries, customer input and reviews, insolvency records, etc.

Advantages

Once you realize that this data can easily be shared by Duns and Bradstreet to creditors, potential business partners, and lending institutions, you can easily see why it’s so important to keep it in good standing.

Faster Loan Approval

When you plan to get a loan for your business, remember that any creditor wouldn’t just hand you money right away. They will conduct a thorough review of your company’s financial standing. Once determined that you’re business reputation is good, only then can the loan be approved.

Extended Credit Limits

In connection, a DUNS number expedites the process of the review of your company’s financial standing. Also, it provides more credibility so that creditors will be more convinced to lend money. Remember that with a DUNS number you have better chances to get an ideal business loan or line of credit with extended terms and low APR interest rates.

Easier Transactions

No matter how well your business thrives, without a DUNS number, your tradeline transactions will be limited to paying upfront for everything you buy. If you want to be billed on a Net 30, Net 60, or Net 90 invoice, you’ll wish you had a DUNS Number. 

Delayed payments will allow you get to receive what you need while giving you time to find the money to pay for them. The more diligent you are in paying your bills on time, the higher your Dun & Bradstreet credit rating will be, and the more tradelines that will open up for you.

In essence, the better your rating, the more credible or trustworthy you’ll seem to anyone who wants to do business with you.

Business Credit Understanding

With a DUNS number, you also get to understand your business’s credit better, as you’ll be able to view all record credit and tradeline information related to your business. You can essentially evaluate how well your company is doing by reading your own report, while also using it to vet businesses relationships and avoid bad partnerships.

Creditor Rating ACCESS

Moreover, a DUNS number will also help you realize whether or not your company can easily a loan from a creditor. It’s a helpful tool for planning how to earn the trust of creditors

If you have an A rating, many people will open their doors for you, while on the other hand, they will slam them shut should you let your rating slip to an F. As long as you know your rating though, you work to improve it, by using simple credit-building strategies.

How to Apply

Visit the Dun and Bradstreet registration page to get a DUNS number. The page will first ask you to provide the reason as to why you want a DUNS number issued, which you easily select from the dropdown menu choices.

After providing the reason, you’ll be asked to provide the following info to ensure your business does not already have a DUNS number.

  • Business name
  • Business street address
  • State where your business operates
  • City where your business operates
  • Matching zip code
  • Business phone number

If a scan of the Duns and Bradstreet database does not show any matching results, you can proceed to the DUNS number-creation page and enter the following information.

  • Business name
  • Legal status of your business
  • Name of CEO or founder
  • Year when the business was founded
  • Primary type of business
  • Organizational structure
  • Total number of employees (regular, contractual, and part-time)

After applying for a DUNS number, you will have to wait up to 30 business days (6 week) before it’s issued. You can expedite the process though if you follow the steps below for faster approval.

Fast Approval

When you apply for a DUNS number through dnb.com website, you may realize that they’ve already issued you one, so double-check just to make sure. If not, the normal waiting period is up to 30 business days (6 weeks) for those who register for free, and up to 5 business days if you’re willing to pay for it.

Apple developers can get expedited process for free by registering your DUNS number through their system. If you otherwise can’t wait to open up your tradelines, you’ll have to pay for speedy approval either via the DUNSFile, or the DUNS Registered SEAL (Asia).

Buyer Beware

Do not pay for 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 Apple’s customer link who will sort it out for you

Apple Developers

If you’ve tried to publish anything on Apple App Store, you’ll already know that you need a DUNS number to get approved as a non-individual. If you have a legal business entity (not a sole proprietorship, DBA, trade name, etc,), you also get expedited service for free due to 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 getting it for free from Apple.

If 5 business days have passed and you have not received your DUNS number, you can then contact DNB support through the Apple customer link who will then sort it out for you.

DUNSFile

After finishing your application on dnb.com, you’ll be asked if you want to expedite your application by purchasing a DUNS File. If you’re wondering what that is exactly, it’s just a basic D&B business credit file for your company.

When paying the $229 fee, you’ll get your DUNS number in 5 business days or less, which is exactly what you’re paying such a high price for.

Registered Seal

Depending on which country you’ve registered your business in Asia, there might be something called a DUNS Registered Seal, which basically allows you to display a D&B seal on your website, emails, etc.

The seal, of course, costs money, and in turn, you’ll get expedited service for DUNS number approval, at times in less than 24 hours.

Prices vary from region to region as does the approval timeline. Payment, however, is generally in local currency and approvals come within 5 business days or less.

In some countries like India and Singapore, they’ve even tried to make buying the Seal mandatory, so be wary and try to register for free on dnb.com first.

CCR Government Contractor

All government contractors are now required to have a DUNS number before applying to SAM. While they use to dole out DUNS numbers quickly to anyone who applied through CCR (Central Contractor Registration), this is no longer the case.

As you might notice now, the first thing to do when applying to SAM is a D&B search for your company, so unless you’re already a registered government contractor, you most likely have to pay for a DUNSFile or a DUNS Registered Seal.

FAQ

Below you’ll find answers to our frequently asked questions about DUNS Numbers and why maintaining a good Dun & Bradstreet rating is so important to your business.

When registering for your DUNS number, you can expedite the process by paying the $229 fee for a DUNSFile which speeds up approval to less than 5 business days. If you’re an Apple developer, you can get the same fast process for through their system.

Lastly, for those in Asia, there’s the DUNS Registered SEAL, 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 SAM.gov (System for Award Management).

After registering for a DUNS number, you’ll typically receive it with 30 business days (6 weeks). There are a few ways to expedite the process, such as paying $229 to create a DUNSfile which allows for application processing in 5 business days or less. You can also get the same deal for free if you’re an Apple Developer.

Multiple DUNS numbers can be issued if you own a business located in different locations. For example, if you have a business in New Jersey and New York, then both may have a DUNS number that’s distinct from each other.

On the other hand, the same DUNS number may be used if your business and its branches are located in the same location. In contrast, multiple DUNS numbers will be issued if your businesses have the same name but, operate in different industries, or has different legal entities.

Governments working with DUNS and Bradstreet strongly require businesses operating under their jurisdiction to get a DUNS number. This is because it allows them to monitor the operations of businesses without directly interfering with them. Basically, it helps governments see that businesses do not make transactions with entities that threaten national security.

With Duns and Bradstreet’s DUNS number, governments also get to monitor the economic performance of certain markets. This is because data collected from businesses can be analyzed by agencies whose task is to monitor the growth or withering of specific sectors in the market.

NO. The application and issuance of DUNS numbers are ONLY done through the Duns and Bradstreet website. To avoid fraud and losing your money, do not transact with any other websites other than dnb.com when applying for a DUNS Number.

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