Just about every business owner has heard of them, and most businesses have a DUNS number through Dun & Bradstreet. But what about you? Does your business need a Dun & Bradstreet number to make it in the business world or can you simply get by without one? More importantly, just what is a Dun & Bradstreet number?

The Significance Of Duns And Bradstreet

The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation is one of the leaders in business information. Most business owners have registered for their own Dun & Bradstreet number, sometimes referred to as a D&B or a DUNS number. DUNS stands for Data Universal Numbering system and Dun & Bradstreet use it to identify over 100 million companies all around the world. These numbers are divided up into thousands of smaller areas, with sub areas, and your business is placed into the main area of the product or service that you provide and you are given a number to correspond with that specific area. Some of these areas include: E-Business Solutions, Marketing Solutions, Risk Management, and Security. The main areas of businesses that make up the DUNS list are manufacturers and wholesalers as well as banks and financial institutions. Here in the United States, a business who wants to place a bid on a government contract cannot do so without a DUNS number, which is why the vast majority of the businesses in the US today have one.

How To Get It?

When you register for a DUNS number, you must fill out everything possible about your business. If you do this online, you can save a lot of time, as the forms are automated and you only need to fill in the information. You can also do this over the phone and have a D&B employee take the information and explain to you where your business should be placed and why.


Some of the information that you will need to place in your DUNS application include:
1. Your business’ legal and trade name
2. Your business’ physical and mailing addresses
3. A geographical description where your business is located
4. All contact phone numbers, fax numbers, and cell numbers (if needed)
5. A complete product description
6. An industry description (these are listed in the drop-down area of the form)
7. Your average sales
8. How many employees your business has
But, this isn’t all the information you need, so be prepared when you are filling out the form.

Great Initiative

While businesses aren’t required to file for a DUNS number with Dun & Bradstreet, it’s always a great idea to do so. Your business will be listed with their publications and you will find that your business will pick up with larger companies, government contracts, and many other avenues that you never thought to market to. Your business will have to pay a fee to be listed, but with the revenue that will return by being placed on their lists, it is money well spent.