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Do You Have a DUNS Number?

Published By Credit Suite at July 30th, 2015

What is a DUNS Number?

Your business needs to have a DUNS number. The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is a business identifier code from the CRA, Dun and Bradstreet.

This business identifier code was developed in 1963. So the idea was to support Dun and Bradstreet’s credit reporting practices.

Today the DUNS number is in widely use to identify businesses lending for issuing new credit. It is also in use by the European Commission, United Nations, and the United States government.

It’s Popular

More than 50 global, industry, and trade associations recognize, recommend, or require DUNS. The DUNS database now contains over 100 million entries for businesses throughout the world.

This number is a nine-digit number which Dun & Bradstreet issues. It is assigned to each business location in the D&B database having a unique, separate, and distinct operation for the purpose.

The DUNS number is a way to identify a business. It is a number with a random assignment.

More About This Unique IdentifierDUNS number Credit Suite2 - Do You Have a DUNS Number?

Unlike national Employment Identification Number (EIN), a DUNS number may be on issue to any business worldwide.

Certain U.S. government agencies require that a vendor have a DUNS number as well as a U.S. Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The Office of Management and Budget, a United States federal agency, made an announcement. So this was in the June 27, 2003 issue of the Federal Register (68 FR 38402).

They said that a DUNS number would be necessary for all grant applicants. These are for new or renewal awards with a submission date on or after October 1, 2003.

This unique number supplements other identifiers, such as the EIN. And it is necessary whether the application goes on file electronically or on paper.

More Agencies want this Number

Other agencies require certain businesses to have a D-U-N-S. These are organizations such as some United Nations offices and the Australian government agencies.

This unique number is also a way in which separate corporate entities can get branding as one. And this is even with no official relationship.  So this is by sharing one D-U-N-S among the affiliated companies.


A DUNS number sometimes gets formatting with embedded dashes. So this is to promote readability. This is strings such as 15-048-3782. Modern usage typically omits dashes. So it shows the number in the form 150483782.

The dashes are not part of D&B’s official definition of the DUNS number.

Many other business numbering systems exist independent of DUNS. So for example, there is the International Suppliers Network system. But few, if any, register as many international businesses as DUNS.

D&B’s Number – the DUNS Number – Matters to Your Business

Dun and Bradstreet’s unique number is the most widely in use worldwide method of identifying businesses. Contact us today to learn even more about this unique identifier. And we can help you get one, too!

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