One of the most recognizable and widely used ways to identify a business globally is the DUNS number. It is recommended and required by hundreds of public and private sector organizations. For ambitious businesses looking to increase revenues getting a DUNS number can help build partnerships, have credibility in front of clients, and make them visible locally and internationally. It is a powerful ally on the journey to a sustainable business.

What is a DUNS Number?

The Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. D-U-N-S, which stands for data universal number system, is used to and maintain accurate and timely information on +400M global businesses. Getting a DUNS number means your business has been validated by Dun & Bradstreet, one of the top credit reporting agencies in the world. Dun & Bradstreet, which is globally respected, has been in operation for almost two centuries and counts amongst its earliest employees four US presidents. Your national identity number reveals many specific details about you as a person that authenticate you and allow you to conduct all manner of transactions. Similarly, the DUNS number is a lifelong business number for your business that never changes and reveals details about you that other businesses who wish to work with you in some manner will need to know. In fact, anyone from a bank, to someone who you wish to become a supplier to, and potential business partners can use the DUNS number to check, your validity, reliability and financial stability.

How do I find my DUNS number online?

A DUNS number lookup is easy to do. If you wish to find your DUNS number online or indeed check if an existing DUNS number for your company exists and has been assigned to you, you can do so at this tool. If your company does not have a DUNS number assigned you can apply for DUNS number with the relevant Dun & Bradstreet office.

How to get a DUNS number

Dun & Bradstreet has a Worldwide Network where Dun & Bradstreet is directly present, has joint ventures or partners. This means no matter what your location, the Dun & Bradstreet Worldwide Network covers you. Simply reach out to the relevant Dun & Bradstreet office covering your country or region and the website will walk you through the process. For example, Dun & Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Africa covers 67 markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and for these markets you can find out how to get the DUNS number here.

Firstly, know that you must be registered as a legal business in your country and territory. Have this information ready for the process, and a D&B representative will reach out and guide you: Business name – Business owner’s name – Business address – Contact number and email – Year founded – Legal business structure – Home business or not – Number of employees.

What do you do once you get a DUNS number?

As a business leader there are several things you can do once you get a DUNS number.

Start the credit lifecycle: Getting the DUNS number is the start of a journey essential to a business; the credit lifecycle. Start the process of building a credit history for your business by establishing and fulfilling credit terms with your suppliers and vendors. Pay your bills early where you can and on-time otherwise. Have a business credit card which you always pay on time. Monitor your credit militantly so any identified issues like credit card fraud or identity theft are identified quickly and escalated for resolution. Use this history to apply for a loan if and when needed at the best terms possible.

Remember a strong business credit profile can be essential to your future plans by allowing you to borrow for growth and strategic initiatives, but even without the need to borrow a good credit history is the foundation of a well-run business.

Be focused on growth: Growth relies on credibility and visibility. With a DUNS number you now have additional data point as you apply for contracts and build a sales pipeline, look for partners inside and outside your borders, register as a supplier to large vendors and work with the government. A DUNS number is also needed for iOS developers when creating their account with the App store so is essential for that particular business model. It is also important to remember that potential partners can search duns number at any time with Dun & Bradstreet and find you.

Businesses who get a DUNS Number are focused on growth as they gain credibility and visibility and become part of the largest database of global businesses in the world.