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?
You need a home address and business address to get your DUNS number. This may be difficult for some business owners who don’t have a permanent residence or a commercial location for their business.
However, contrary to common belief, you can use your home address as your business address if you run a startup or home-based business. Many businesses 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.
And so, you can rent a virtual mailbox or a virtual office that comes 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 if you’re 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 located in the US, you can go directly to the DNB iUpdate page. However, if you’re settled overseas, go to the d&b official website and choose your country or region for the requirements on how to apply.
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 and the 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. If you want 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.