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Dun & Bradstreet
D-U-N-S® Number

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What is a D‑U‑N‑S Number?

The Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. This number is assigned once our patented identity resolution process, part of our DUNSRight methodology, identifies a company as being unique from any other in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud. The D‑U‑N‑S Number is used as the starting point for any company's Live Business Identity, the most comprehensive and continually updated view of any company in the Data Cloud.

D‑U‑N‑S Numbers are often referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and/or financial stability of the company in question. D‑U‑N‑S, which stands for data universal numbering system, is used to maintain up-to-date and timely information on more than 300 million global businesses. The D‑U‑N‑S Number also enables identification of relationships between corporate entities (hierarchies and linkages), another key element of Live Business Identity and commercial risk assessment practices. The D‑U‑N‑S Number has been likened to a Social Security Number for businesses. Although it is not issued by the government, it can be used similarly.

Why Do I Need a DUNS Number?

The D‑U‑N‑S Number is used around the world to identify and access information on businesses. A D‑U‑N‑S Number identifies a company's Dun & Bradstreet business credit file, which may include firmographic data (company name, address, phone number, etc.), corporate family relationships (headquarters, branches, subsidiaries, etc.), and scores and ratings that assess different financial health indicators. Taken all together, this profile of information is called the Dun & Bradstreet Live Business Identity. Potential partners and lenders can request a business credit report about your business using your D‑U‑N‑S Number or other business identifiers. Equally, you can use the D‑U‑N‑S Number to access the same information about any company with which you might wish to work.

Because of its universal recognition and unique assignment, the D‑U‑N‑S Number can also serve as a primary data key within an organization's Master Data Management architecture. In this manner, the D‑U‑N‑S Number (and the connected Live Business Identity data), enables a single source of truth in the capture and storage of information related to a company's customers, partners, and suppliers.

Consider Dun & Bradstreet's unique Live Business Identity a dynamic descriptor of nearly every business on Earth, enabling reciprocal business relationship insight. The information in your Dun & Bradstreet credit report comes from the Live Business Identity of your company, enabling informed decisions about whether or not to work with your company and to what extent or under what terms.

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Establish credibility with lenders, and expedite applications for loans and contracts.

Many financial institutions look at a company's business credit report or monitor a company's Live Business Identity (anchored by the company's D‑U‑N‑S Number) when considering whether to extend credit or grant a loan and what terms and conditions to offer. The information in the report includes D&B® scores and ratings (D&B PAYDEX®, D&B Delinquency Predictor Score, D&B Financial Stress Score, as well as other predictive and performance-based scores and ratings), as well as suits, liens, judgments, and other information that may help the institution make a decision.

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Do business with the government and companies outside the United States.

Companies all over the world and many government institutions perform risk assessments of their potential partners or suppliers as part of the vetting process and may require a D‑U‑N‑S Number when submitting a bid. The organization or company requesting the D‑U‑N‑S Number can use it to help verify a company's legitimacy or to access the D&B scores and ratings in the bidder's business credit report.

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Make sure other businesses get a complete and accurate story about your business.

Your D‑U‑N‑S Number can be used to request your business credit report, which contains your company's D&B scores and ratings; as well as suits, liens, or judgments; your company's payment history; and other information that can be used to help gauge your company's creditworthiness as a customer, supplier, or partner.