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What is a DUNS number and how do I get one?

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What is a DUNS number and how do I get one?

What is a DUNS number and how do I get one? When you’re doing international business and especially when you’re selling to either large enterprises or government entities, certain identification numbers are often requested and sometimes required by their procurement process. One such identifier is a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet. It’s not uncommon to hear about it, especially when dealing with financial transactions or government contracts. Let’s have a look at what this is and how you can get one.

When you’re doing international business a DUNS number acts as a unique identifier, similar to a social security number for individuals. It provides a standardized method to identify and track the financial transactions of businesses across the globe. It’s an often requested

The significance of these numbers lies in its widespread use across various sectors. From facilitating international trade to securing government contracts, having a number opens doors to numerous opportunities for businesses.

A Data Universal Numbering System or DUNS, is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned to businesses by Dun & Bradstreet, a leading provider of business information and credit reporting.

1. Purpose

The primary purpose of this number is to establish a universal system for identifying and tracking businesses’ financial transactions and credit histories.

1. Businesses

Any entity engaged in commercial activities, whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC), can benefit from getting a number.

2. Non-profit organizations

Non-profit organizations seeking grants, donations, or partnerships often require this number to demonstrate their legitimacy and financial stability.

3. Government entities

Government agencies, both at the federal and state levels, frequently use these numbers to verify the credibility of businesses applying for contracts or grants.

Obtaining that number is a straightforward process that involves a few simple steps.

1. Steps to obtain

  1. Visit the Dun & Bradstreet website.
  2. Navigate to the DUNS number registration page.
  3. Provide the necessary information about your business, such as legal name, address, and ownership details.
  4. Submit the application.

2. Required information

To complete the number application, you’ll need to provide basic information about your business, including its legal structure, physical address, and primary contact information.

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1. Registering with Dun & Bradstreet

Before applying for this number, you may need to register with Dun & Bradstreet if your business is not already in their database.

2. Completing the application

Once registered, you can proceed to complete the number application by providing accurate and up-to-date information about your business.

1. Business credit reporting

The most common use of one of these numbers is for credit bureaus to assess a business’s creditworthiness and financial stability.

2. Government contracts

Government agencies require businesses to have DUNS number when applying for contracts or grants to ensure transparency and accountability in procurement processes.

3. International trade

In international trade, a DUNS number serves as a unique identifier for businesses involved in importing and exporting goods and services.

Having a DUNS number offers several advantages, including:

  • Establishing credibility and trustworthiness
  • Accessing business credit and financing options
  • Qualifying for government contracts and grants
  • Streamlining international trade transactions

A DUNS number remains valid unless the associated business undergoes significant changes, such as mergers, acquisitions, or closures. However, it’s essential to update your number information regularly to ensure its accuracy and relevance.

A DUNS number is an important component of business identity and plays a role in a lot of business relationships, from securing financing to participating in government contracts. It’s particularly useful for B2B businesses that sell to enterprise customers to build credibility for your business. By understanding what a DUNS number is and how to obtain one, businesses can position themselves to build trust with their customers, growth and success in today’s competitive marketplace.

1. Do I need a DUNS number for my small business?

Yes, having a DUNS number can benefit businesses of all sizes by establishing credibility and facilitating transactions.

2. How long does it take to get this number?

The process of obtaining a DUNS number typically takes a few business days, but it may vary depending on the verification process.

3. Is there a fee to obtain this number?

Obtaining a DUNS number is free for most businesses, but there may be fees associated with additional services offered by Dun & Bradstreet.

4. Can I use my DUNS number internationally?

Yes, DUNS numbers are recognized internationally and can be used to identify businesses in many countries around the world.

5. How often should I update my DUNS information?

It’s recommended to review and update your DUNS information regularly, especially when there are changes to your business operations or ownership.


Contract Sent is not a law firm, this post and subsequent pages on this website do not constitute or contain legal advice. To understand whether or not the ideas and guidance on the Contract Sent website is applicable to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. The use and accessing of any resources contained within the Contract Sent site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Contract Sent.

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