Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why Should All Business Get a D-U-N-S®® Number?

With more than 100 million businesses in the marketplace worldwide, it’s important to establish a D-U-N-S® Number in order to identify and differentiate your business. A D-U-N-S® Number is a unique nine-digit reference number assigned to a business, similar to the way a social security number is assigned to an American citizen. However, unlike social security numbers, D-U-N-S® Numbers are public, so anyone can research a business based on its D-U-N-S® Number.

D&B links the D&B D-U-N-S® Numbers of parents, subsidiaries, headquarters and branches on more than 70 million corporate family members around the world. Used by the world's most influential standards-setting organizations, it is recognized, recommended and/or required by more than 50 global, industry and trade associations, including the United Nations, the U.S. Federal Government, the Australian Government and the European Commission.

In today's global economy, the D&B D-U-N-S® Number has become the standard for keeping track of the world's businesses.

A History of D-U-N-S®

D-U-N-S® stands for Data Universal Numbering System and is copyrighted by Dunn & Bradstreet (D&B) as a method of identifying businesses. The D-U-N-S® system was put into place in 1962.

Both commercial and federal organizations have been using D-U-N-S® Numbers since 1994 as a standardized method of identifying a business. In 1998, D-U-N-S® Numbers were incorporated into the Federal Acquisition Act (FAR) as the official contractor identification code for Federal Government procurement-related activities.

How D-U-N-S® Helps Businesses

In addition to allowing a business to go after federal government contracts, having a D-U-N-S® Number enhances the credibility of a business and enables other businesses to learn more about it. Information that is accessible by researching a D-U-N-S® Number includes:

  • Business name

  • Business physical and mailing addresses

  • Doing Business As “DBA” affiliations

  • Names of principals

  • Financial information, including payment experiences

  • Industry classifications (including SICs and NAICS)

  • Government data about the business

  • Social-economic status of the business

What You Need to Do

If you are a small business, ensure that your company is listed in D&B's database – even if you don’t plan to go after any government contracts in the near future. Establishing your D-U-N-S® Number now will help to build your history and credibility. Once you sign up, you should receive your D-U-N-S® Number within 30 business days.

You can also use the D-U-N-S® for another business as a credit reference for that business, just as another business can use your number as a credit reference for your business.

By the way, you can easily update your record anytime with the eUpdate service offered by D&B.

Please note that getting a D-U-N-S® Number alone will not establish a D&B credit file for your company. If you are requesting a D-U-N-S® Number because you need to show others that your business is creditworthy, you will probably need to establish a credit file.