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How To Get A Duns Number

Growing businesses are using their DUNS number to accelerate business growth. Do you have a DUNS number? Do you know how to get one?

Before we cover the step-by-step process of getting a free DUNS Number below, you may be wondering what exactly is a DUNS Number? It is a 9-digit number that identifies your business credit profile with Dun and Bradstreet. 

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the biggest business credit reporting agency in the world. D&B holds over 200 million business records on file and provides information on businesses for use in credit decisions.

The main credit score used in the business world is known as a Paydex score which is provided by D&B. If you own a business, your Paydex score is essential in establishing new credit and continuing to build credit limits exceeding $10,000.

You really only have one of two options: Option 1- Sign up online through the free DUNS Number application; Or Option 2- Purchase D&B monitoring. 

How is your business credit profile created with D&B? A D&B profile is created when the business applies for a DUNS Number.

D & B does give you the option to expedite a free DUNS Number request for $49.99. However, most business owners find that they can wait the two weeks required for the free DUNS Number.

Here’s 5 things you should consider before applying for a free DUNS Number:

  1. Use the correct business information: It is important that your business name, address, phone number and other business information is correct on your business credit report.
  2. The information listed on your business credit report and all other business records should exactly match.
  3. If possible, the business should have an actual physical business address. A physical business location can add business credibility.
  4. Your business address should be a real address listed with the United States Postal Service. For example, if you are using a suite number that isn’t a listed suite with the United Postal Service, your address can’t be verified by lenders or the business credit agencies. Additionally, don’t share a business address with another business to avoid reporting issues.
  5. Be prepared to answer verification questions. D&B’s system will ask personal background questions to verify the business owner. This assures that an actual, authorized individual sets up the business’s DUNS Number.

Here is the step-by-step guide to getting a free DUNS Number.

  1. Start on D&B’s website (dnb.com) and hover over the tab “D-U-N-S Number” then click on “Get a D-U-N-S Number”.
  2. The system will then prompt you for “Primary Reason for D-U-N-S Number”. You are given three options: 
    1. I have a U.S. based business
    2. I’m an Apple Developer
    3. I’m a U.S. Government Contractor or Grantee

If you’re not facilitating a government contract or part of the Apple Developer Program or the Apple Developer Enterprise Program., then select “I have a U.S. based business”.

  1. Now enter the business name, address, and phone number to search the D&B database for an existing profile. If your business already has a D&B profile but the information was incorrect, you can update your existing profile with the correct information. If the business doesn’t have an existing profile, click Get a New D-U-N-S Number”.
  2. You’ll then see 3 options:
    1. D-U-N-S Number + CreditSignal (Free)
    2. DUNSFile + CreditSignal ($229)
    3. Small Business Starter +CreditSignal ($999)

Click on “Get Started” under the D-U-N-S Number + CreditSignal option on the left of the page.

  1. Enter the Company Information (1 of 2) * Required Fields: Business Name, Year Business Started, Number of Employees, Business Description, Business Phone, Business Email, Business Structure, and Business Address. D&B will also ask you to upload 2 legal documents with the business’s name and address clearly indicated.
    1. D&B will accept any of the following document types for business verification processing. Uploading two documents from this list is recommended:
      1. •  Articles of Incorporation/Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation/Secretary of State Approved Business Registration/Secretary of State Certificate of Filing
      2. •  EIN/TIN Confirmation Letter
      3. •  Proof of a business phone service
      4. •  Proof of a utility bill in your company’s name
      5. •  Proof of a business insurance such as a workers-compensation policy or casualty insurance
      6. •  Proof of a business lease (i.e., building, vehicles, equipment)

On the Company Information (1 of 2) page, you will be asked for the Business Description which is related to your SIC Code. Standard Industrial Classification is a number that is assigned to a certain industry. 

If you aren’t sure what your industry is, click on the field and type in a keyword to search for your industry. For instance, if you are a consulting company you will enter “consulting” as a keyword search. The closest match will be displayed so you can select the desired industry.

  1. Lastly you’ll enter your Personal Information (2 of 2) * Required Fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, Password, and Confirm Password. Then click on the “Submit” button below.

Once you have applied for a DUNS Number, your profile will be created. It takes D&B, on average, two weeks to email you your DUNS Number. Be advised that D&B will contact you to sell you additional products.

The D&B sales team is extremely aggressive in their sales tactics. These are 3 common phrases business owners will hear from D&B sales reps in emails and voicemail messages:

“You have inquires on your business credit you need to purchase monitoring.:

“Your business profile won’t be activated unless you purchase this.

“You can’t build business credit without this.”

Keep in mind these are sales tactics. It’s important to understand you don’t have to make a purchase.

That’s how you get a free DUNS Number, but there is so much more you need to do to build your business credit successfully. For more information on how to obtain a DUNS Number and monitor your business credit profile, build and grow your business credit, go to calendly.com/bizcred/consult and sign up for a free 30-minute consult with the business credit professionals.

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