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Requesting a D&B D-U-N-S® Number

0 Comments | Dec 27, 2011 | Written by:

What Is a D&B D-U-N-S® Number?

dun and bradstreetDun & Bradstreet, otherwise known as D&B, is a public company that provides information on over 150 million businesses and corporations, worldwide, for use in credit determination, business to business marketing, and supply chain management. In addition, a D&B D-U-N-S® number is required for any business submitting federal grant and cooperative agreement applications, as well as businesses applying for the Small Business Administration’s America’s Recovery Capital loans.

In order to ensure accuracy in reporting that can otherwise be confusing when relying on company names alone (as companies may change or have similar names), Dun & Bradstreet assigns every business entity a unique nine-digit numeric identifier referred to as a “D-U-N-S® number.”

How to Request a D-U-N-S® Number

Requesting a D-U-N-S® number is quite simple, and can be done online, or over the phone. It can take up to 30 days, but if you are willing to pay a fee, then you can have the process expedited.

Standard Process: The standard process is performed online and is free of charge. You first have to register with iUpdate, Dun & Bradstreet’s information management platform. The first step will be to enter your business name and location. This will search the database to ensure that there is not already a D-U-N-S® number associated with the business entity. If one does not already exist, then you can click on the option for “Get a D-U-N-S® number.” From there you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Legal Name
  • Tradestyle, Doing Business As (DBA), or other name by which your organization is recognized.
  • Physical Address, City, State, and Zip Code
  • Mailing Address (if separate)
  • Telephone Number
  • Contact Name
  • SIC Code (Line of Business)
  • Number of Employees
  • Headquarters name and address (if there is a reporting relationship to a parent corporate entity).

Expedited Process: Dun & Bradstreet offers an expedited process. This can either be done online, or over the phone by calling 1-866-705-5711. The phone process is available Monday to Friday, from 7 AM to 8 PM C.S.T, will take 5-10 minutes, and your number will be issued immediately. The online option is available any time, but there is up to a 5 day wait before your number is given to you. The cost for an expedited number (both online and over the phone), is $229. You will have to provide the same details as in the standard process, so have that information available.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

  • Before you request your D-U-N-S® number, make sure you have all the necessary information on hand.
  • Remember that D-U-N-S® numbers are specific to each business entity, and are site specific. This means that a separate number is required for each distinct physical location (branches, divisions, headquarters, etc). That said, Dun & Bradstreet recommends that organizations try to limit their D-U-N-S® numbers to a minimum to avoid confusion.
  • If you have multiple locations in your organization, you can create a parent D-U-N-S® number to aggregate the information. It is also recommended that if your have an organization with multiple D-U-N-S® numbers, you identify a single person as the point of contact for all of the D-U-N-S® number requests for the entire organization.
  • When you get a D-U-N-S® number, you will automatically be placed on Dun & Bradstreet’s master marketing list, which is sold to other companies. If you do not want to be placed on this list, you will need to call Dun & Bradstreet and request to be removed.
  • If your business is located outside the continental United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, you cannot request a D-U-N-S® number over the phone. Instead you will have to obtain it online.


[Photo Credit: Bkindustrialfinishing]


Jason Carvey is a writer and seasoned financial analyst who has worked in the entertainment industry for the past ten years. At University of Connecticut School of Business, he received both the Most Outstanding Finance Scholar award and the New England Scholar award before graduating Magna Cum Laude. In addition to his finance work, Jason has recently written for Twentieth Century Fox Television and Original Productions.

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