What is a DUNS number?

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    Jess Holcomb

    Page written by Jess Holcomb. Last reviewed on February 14, 2024. Next review due October 1, 2025.

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      A DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned to businesses by Dun & Bradstreet, a leading business information provider. This number is used to track your company’s credit and financial history, as well as to verify your business’s identity and legal status.

      As a small business owner in the United States, you might have heard of the term “DUNS number,” but do you know what it really means or why it’s important for your business? Keep reading as we explain everything you need to know about DUNS numbers, including who requires them, their advantages for your business, and how you can acquire one.

      Unlocking the benefits of a DUNS number

      Having a DUNS number for your business has several benefits. Firstly, it helps you establish credibility and trust with potential partners, suppliers, and customers by showing that your business is legitimate and serious about doing business. Secondly, it makes it easier for other companies to find and assess your company’s creditworthiness, which can be helpful when applying for loans or seeking investment.

      In addition, having a DUNS number can open doors to government contracts and other business opportunities. Many government agencies and private companies require businesses to have a DUNS number to be considered for contracts or other partnerships.

      Obtaining a DUNS number is a smart move for any business looking to expand its reach and build a strong reputation within its industry. With its ability to enhance credibility, attract new customers and partners, and unlock new business prospects, a DUNS number is a valuable asset that can help your business thrive.

      The practical applications of a DUNS number

      DUNS numbers have various applications. They are commonly used for:

      • Credit Reporting: Lenders and suppliers use your DUNS number to evaluate your credit history and determine whether they should extend credit to your business.
      • Government Contracts: The DUNS number is used by government agencies to verify the existence and legitimacy of a business and to track its transactions with the government. Therefore, to do business with government agencies, you must obtain a DUNS number and register it with the relevant agency.
      • Grants and Funding: Many grant providers and funding agencies require a DUNS number as a way to verify the legitimacy of the applicant and to affirm that the funds are being used for their intended purpose.
      • Supplier Relationships: Some companies may request your DUNS number to establish supplier relationships, ensuring you have a solid financial track record.

      Obtaining a DUNS number: Timing and process

      It’s recommended that small businesses obtain a DUNS number as early as possible, ideally before they even start operating. This is because lenders, suppliers, and other business partners often require a DUNS number to verify a company’s creditworthiness and financial stability.

      A small business can obtain a DUNS number by registering with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the main provider of these numbers. To do this, the business owner can visit the D&B website and complete the registration process. Alternatively, they can call D&B’s toll-free number and request a DUNS number over the phone.

      Additionally, small businesses should verify that their DUNS number is kept up to date and accurate, as this information is often used by potential customers, partners, and investors to research a company. It’s also a good idea to monitor the business credit report associated with the DUNS number to check that there are no errors or fraudulent activities.

      Demystifying DUNS number accessibility

      Your DUNS number is not a secret code; it’s a publicly available identifier for your business. It’s vital to ensure that it’s displayed accurately and in the right places. Your DUNS number should be displayed prominently on all your business documentation, including invoices, purchase orders, and contracts. Additionally, make sure that your DUNS number is listed on your business website and possibly on any other online platforms you use to promote your business.

      By displaying your DUNS number in these places, you make it easier for potential creditors, suppliers, government agencies, and interested parties to find and verify your business information. This helps establish trust and build credibility with your stakeholders, ultimately leading to more business opportunities for your company.

      It is highly recommended that you regularly review your business information on the Dun & Bradstreet website to validate that your DUNS number is always accurate and up-to-date. Doing so lets you make any necessary updates or changes to your business information and ensure that your DUNS number is associated with the most current and accurate information. This will help you maintain the credibility of your business and avoid any potential errors or inaccuracies.

      Boosting your business with a DUNS number

      Your DUNS number can be a valuable asset for your business growth. It can help you:

      • Access Credit: A DUNS number can make securing business loans and credit lines easier.
      • Win Contracts: It’s a must-have for bidding on government contracts, which can be lucrative opportunities.
      • Build Trust: This is a powerful tool that showcases your organization’s reliability and helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

      Ready to take your business to the next level? Enter Swoop

      Now that you understand the importance of a DUNS number, you may wonder how to make the most of it. This is where Swoop comes in. We are a reliable source of information for all things related to business funding and growth. Our platform enables you to easily check for available loans that match your business needs. We invite you to take the next step by clicking on Get Started and exploring the funding options available to you. Don’t miss out on the opportunities – let Swoop be your trusted partner on your business journey.

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      Written by

      Jess Holcomb

      Jessica Holcomb is a content marketing writer who specializes in writing about the intersection of technology, finance, and business. With a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Jessica specializes in insurtech and SaaS marketing. She has worked as an in-house Content Marketing Manager for several fintech companies and freelanced for numerous start-ups nationwide. Her work can be found in top fintech, business, and gaming resource sites.

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