Written by Tejas Ajmeri

Edited by Ranelli Williams, CPA, MBA

The Data Universal Numbering System, otherwise known as D-U-N-S Number, is the international 9-digit number that identifies over 100 million businesses worldwide. Obtaining one for your business is quite easy, and can in fact benefit you in many ways.

In order to obtain one, the person seeking the DUNS number can simply go to the Dun and Bradstreet website (http://www.dnb.com/) or call (1-866-705-5711) to apply. Please be advised however that you should have the listed information with you when applying for the DUNS number:

  • Name of organization
  • Organization address
  • Name of the chief executive officer (CEO) or organization owner
  • Legal structure of the organization (e.g., corporation, partnership, proprietorship)
  • Year the organization started
  • Primary type of business
  • Total number of employees (full and part-time)

If you are a business owner but have not yet applied for a DUNS number, you should go and apply for one IMMEDIATELY! As mentioned before, having one can open the door for several opportunities for your business.

The Opportunities of Having a DUNS Number:

One of the biggest opportunities that comes with having a DUNS number is that it makes it easier for you obtain loans and lines of credit. Banks and other credit issuers use the D-U-N-S number as a reference to determine whether or not the applicant can receive a loan or line of credit. Each DUNS number provides a long list of information ranging from payment history to your businesses credit report, and other valuable information that reflects your business. Just because a business has a registered DUNS number, it does not guarantee that they will get the loan or other source of finance that they are looking for. The person applying MUST have a good credit report to be considered when applying for a loan or line of credit.

Another major opportunity that comes with having a DUNS number is that validates the legitimacy of your business. By simply having a DUNS number, it shows other businesses and institutions that your business complies with the rules and regulations of the government, as well as the fact that you are reliable and serious about your business venture. Having this kind of notoriety opens the door for partnerships, larger networks, and the proof, that your business is running as a business.

The final opportunity (but not the last) that I will be discussing, is the fact that you NEED a DUNS number to apply to bid on government contracts, government loans, or any other federal financing within the United States. Any interest regarding the government, or the United Nations, is required to be accompanied by your company’s DUNS number.

In summary, having a DUNS number is necessary for your business or company.  Take advantage of the fact that it is simple to apply for as noted above, and the fact that it can lead to a number of opportunities for you and your business. You will certainly not regret it, and neither will your business.