Your business’s financial credibility is an important pillar to work on when running a business, whether it’s a large corporation that won’t need much funding or a startup and small business looking for financial aid. A DUNS number verifies your business’s stability to help you grow and finance your business.
Let’s go step by step and take a deeper look into the meaning of this term, why you need one, the requirements of applying for a DUNS number, and how to get one for your business today.
What is a DUNS number?
A DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) or a DNB number is a 9-digit code assigned to your business by Dun and Bradstreet, the world’s biggest business database. It works as an identifier to prove your financial credibility when applying for a loan or credit. This code allows investors, potential business partners, creditors, and lenders to view your business’s financial history to reassure the reliability and stability of your entity.
DUNS numbers are used by millions of companies worldwide. Even the US government uses these codes for business. With a DUNS number, your company has an authorized business credit report.
What are the requirements to apply for a DUNS number?
To get your own DUNS number, you will need to submit your contact information and business information; the requirements are as the following,
- Your Name (First Name – Last Name)
- Home Address (including state, city, Zip code, floor, and apt.no.)
- Home Phone Number
- Legal Business Name
- Job Title
- Business Phone Number
- Business Email Address
- Business Address (including state, city, zip code, floor, and Suite no.)
- Number of Employees
- Business Legal Signature
- Executive Principal or CEO (their contact info)
Do I need a physical address for a DUNS number?
A physical address is required to register a foreign entity with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The DUNS number is a nine-digit identification number that includes information about the entity’s owner and other details like its location and business type. The owner and the entity must have a physical address to obtain a DUNS number. A business can be physically located anywhere in the world. However, it must still have a physical address in the U.S. All businesses that sell products or services to U.S. citizens must register with DOC, regardless of location or size.
All foreign-owned companies must have a DUNS number even if they do not sell anything to U.S. citizens or have any assets in the U.S.
Also, it is mandatory for all foreign-owned companies engaging in manufacturing within the United States to have a DUNS number even if there are no employees or assets present in the United States. This is a holding company for another foreign-owned company that does business within the United States.
For USA residents, you need a physical address which could be your home address for your business, to get your DUNS number. Many companies can’t afford to rent office space in commercial locations, so they use their home address instead. But even though this is allowed, it may lessen your credibility with potential creditors or investors because it will reflect poorly on your business’s stability.
The next best option is to rent a virtual mailbox or a virtual office with a physical street address. You can use this address as your business mailing address and, at the same time, apply for a DUNS number with it. Even working from home, your business can be registered with a unique street address in a big city. However, you cannot use a PO Box or rent a mailbox at a UPS store as your business address.
How do I get a DUNS number?
Getting a DUNS number requires following these steps.
1) The US or other countries
If your business is in the US, you can go directly to the DNB iUpdate page. If you’re offshore, go to the official website, and select your country or region to get the requirements for your application.
2) Check if your business is listed
You may already have a DUNS number set if you’ve previously received funds from creditors or grants from the US government and do business with them. Fill in your business’s legal name and location to check.
3) Get a DUNS number
If your business does not appear in the results, click on the “Get a D-U-N-S number” arrow.
4) Fill in your personal info
The first step will be to fill in your contact info like your name, home address, home phone number, email address, business title, business phone number, and email. Your home address must be accurate and in detail. The slightest mistake can fail your submission.
5) Fill in your company info
You’ll then be required to fill in your company info like the legal business name, business phone number, and address.
6) Review your request
Go over all your info, like the zip code and spellings, and make sure everything is correct.
7) Pick a processing option
You can quickly get this done online and for free, and you’ll receive your credit file within 30 business days. To expedite the process, you can look into the Dun & Bradstreet Credit Builder service to get your credit file within 5 business days.
Once you’ve received your DUNS number, you can easily apply for grants and funding within the US and do business with government entities. In addition, your DUNS will not expire or need to be renewed. So as long as your business is up and running, you don’t need to do this again.