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Why Your Business Needs to Get a DUNs Number

Why Your Business Needs to Get a DUNs Number

By Marco Carbajo, Guest Blogger
Published: January 10, 2013

Did you know that a DUNS number is the most widely used number for identifying companies in the United States?

Did you also know that suppliers and creditors alike pull a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) credit check on your business when you apply for credit?

Part of establishing a creditworthy company includes establishing positive credit ratings with major business credit reporting agencies such as D&B. If you are serious about establishing credit for your business, then the first thing to do is get listed in D&B’s database and set up your company’s credit file.

When you apply for a DUNs Number with D&B, the Data Universal Numbering System issues a nine-digit number that is unique to your company. This DUNs number is used to create your business credit file, similar to how your social security number is used to identify your personal credit reports.

To obtain your DUNs number, first enter your legal business name, city, and state in the search box on the D&B website and click on the search tab. This will verify if your company is already listed with D&B and has been issued a DUNS number.

You’ll see a list of possible matches, but click on the tab only if you believe there is a match to your company name. Doing so requires that you verify specific information about your business.

Once you gain authorization, D&B provides you access to your files via iUpdate, where you can review, update, correct and add company information. If your company does not show up in the search results, then most likely you do not have a DUNs Number.

The next step is to apply for one.

It is important to note that once you apply for a DUNS Number at no charge, your file will be created. But it will be considered an incomplete file (marketing file) if you have no trade references reporting. If this is the case, you can either add trade references to your file by enrolling in a monitoring program or you can apply for credit and wait for a supplier to report your company’s payment activity.

Remember, once you obtain your DUNS Number, the next step is to start establishing business credit by adding positive trade references to your file. This only happens when you start making purchases with creditors that report payment activity.

With more than 500,000 suppliers in the U.S. and less than 6,000 that actually report to the business, credit agencies don’t get caught up in the mistake of applying for credit with non-reporting creditors when your chief aim is to build your company’s credit file.

Ultimately, a creditworthy profile will help creditors, lenders and suppliers assess the creditworthiness of your company when you apply for credit.

About the Author:

Marco Carbajo
Marco Carbajo

Guest Blogger

Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community, About.com and All Business.com. His articles and blog; Business Credit Blogger.com, have been featured in 'Fox Small Business','American Express Small Business', 'Business Week', 'The Washington Post', 'The New York Times', 'The San Francisco Tribune',‘Alltop’, and ‘Entrepreneur Connect’.