Do You Know All the Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do?
Does your business have a DUNS number? If it doesn’t, you are missing out. A DUNS number is exceptionally helpful. There are any number of things a DUNS number helps you do. But what is a DUNS number, anyway?
A DUNS number is Dun & Bradstreet’s unique identifier for your company. If your company is Joe’s Pizzeria, there may be one in Oshkosh and another in Hicksville and creditors won’t be able to tell them apart.
Enter the DUNS number. With this unique ID, creditors can punch your information into a search for company information. If a creditor doesn’t know your DUNS number, they can find it on the D&B website. The D-U-N-S number is how D&B uses to find your company amidst millions of other companies.
So without further ado, here are 3 things you can do with a DUNS number.
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: #3 – Get Information on a Company
As noted above, company information in the D&B database is looked up via DUNS numbers. A DUNS number means a company can change hands yet creditors will still be able to find information on it. A company can move, or become incorporated, or dissolve a corporation. None of that matters; the DUNS number is all you need.
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: #2 – Use the D&B Website Most Effectively
Dun & Bradstreet requires that you register on their site (registration is free) before they will give you a DUNS number. There are a few slightly different ways to get a DUNS if your business belongs to a special class, such as it is a US government contractor or grantee, or you are an Apple developer, or your company is Canadian.
Registration is simple. Once you agree to the Terms and Conditions, you are immediately taken to a dashboard where you either request a DUNS number or you look up to see if your business is already listed and then click on your business name in order to make any needed changes.
Having a D&B login gives you a lot of flexibility. You can:
- Review and update your existing Dun & Bradstreet credit report
- Review and dispute any inaccurate payment experiences reported to D&B
- Update your company’s financial statement and other information
- Review and dispute any public filing information concerning your business, and
- View and print a copy of your Dun & Bradstreet credit report
Could you use the D&B site without a DUNS number? It’s not impossible. But having a DUNS number means you can use the D&B site to your fullest advantage. This is one of the things a DUNS number helps you do!
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: #1 – Build Business Credit
You can’t have business credit without a credit score.
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: Beginning the Business Credit Reporting Process
Begin at the D&B website and get a free DUNS number. A DUNS number is how D&B gets a business into their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no DUNS number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s web sites for the company. Do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
In this way, Experian and Equifax will have something to report on. This is another one of those things a DUNS number helps you do.
A PAYDEX Score serves as Dun & Bradstreet’s dollar-weighted numerical rating of how your company has paid its bills over the past year. D & B bases their scoring on trade experiences as reported by various vendors (your company’s landlord, suppliers, etc. as they apply to your particular circumstances).
The Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX Score is in a range from 1 to 100. As you might expect, higher scores mean a better payment performance. That is, your company pays its bills on time or early, it pays them as close to fully as possible, and you don’t borrow too much – all of these can keep your PAYDEX score in a better range.
Your PAYDEX score does not start to be figured until your company has a DUNS number. So that comes first.
First you ought to build trade lines that report. This is also known as vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.
With an established business credit profile and score you can begin to get more credit.
These kinds of accounts tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But first of all, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you preliminary credit when you have none now. Terms are commonly Net 30, instead of revolving.
Hence, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you must pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Vendor Credit Details
Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with minimal effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
You want 3 of these to move onto the next step. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: Get Credit with Uline
Uline Shipping Supplies is a true starter vendor. Find them online at www.uline.com. They sell shipping, packing, and industrial supplies, and they report to D&B and Experian.
You need to have a DUNS number. They will request 2 references and a bank reference. The first few orders may need to be prepaid to initially get approval for Net 30 terms.
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: Get Credit with Marathon
Check out starter vendor Marathon. Marathon Petroleum Company provides transportation fuels, asphalt, and specialty products throughout the United States. Their comprehensive product line supports commercial, industrial, and retail operations. This card reports to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax. Before applying for multiple accounts with WEX Fleet cards, make sure to have enough time in between applying so they don’t red-flag your account for fraud.
Your SSN is required for informational purposes. If concerned they will pull your personal credit talk to their credit department before applying. You can give a $500 deposit instead of using a personal guarantee, if in business less than a year. Apply online. Terms are Net 15. Get it here: www.marathonbrand.com/.
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: Get Credit with Grainger Industrial Supply
Grainger Industrial Supply is likewise a true starter vendor. Find them online at www.grainger.com. They sell safety equipment, plumbing supplies, and more, and they report to D&B. You will need to have a business license, EIN, and a DUNS number.
For less than a $1000 credit limit they will approve almost anybody with a business license.
Monitor Your Business Credit
Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and fix any errors ASAP. Get in the practice of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the specifics, not just the scores.
We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax, and D&B for 90% less.
Update Your Record
Update the details if there are inaccuracies or the info is incomplete. At D&B, go here: Update Your Dun and Bradstreet File. For Experian, go here: Experian Business Credit Information . So for Equifax, go here: Equifax Small Business.
Fix Your Business Credit
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any errors in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be taken care of. But the CRAs typically want you to dispute in a particular way.
Get your small business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.
Fixing credit report inaccuracies means you specifically itemize any charges you dispute.
Dispute your or your business’s Equifax report by following the directions here.
Dispute errors on your or your small business’s Experian report by following the instructions here: Dispute Experian.
And D&B only wants you to dispute via Customer Service. So you need to get the Dun and Bradstreet Customer Service Number.
A Word about Business Credit Building
Always use credit responsibly! Don’t borrow more than what you can pay back. Keep track of balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying punctually and in full will do more to increase business credit scores than just about anything else.
Growing small business credit pays off. Excellent business credit scores help a business get loans. Your lending institution knows the company can pay its financial obligations. They recognize the small business is authentic.
The company’s EIN links to high scores and loan providers often won’t feel the need to ask for a personal guarantee.
Things a DUNS Number Helps You Do: Takeaways
Experian and Equifax will start to build a file for your company once you’re in the D&B system – and you can’t be in the D&B system without a DUNS number.
So, what are you waiting for? Your business needs a DUNS number!