How To Get A DUNS Number

If you enter into a cooperative, contribution, interagency, partnership, federal contract, or grant agreement with NRCS and use an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax Identification Number (TIN), you must obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register with the System for Award Management (SAM). To receive payments, these companies must register with SAM. Here’s a quick guide on how to get a DUNS number:

How to Get a DUNS Number

#1. Get a DUNS Number

There are two ways for your company to receive a DUNS number: You can either call a toll-free number or access it online.

Using a Toll-Free Number

Business entities can obtain the DUNS number by dialing 1-(866) 705-5711. Inform the operator that you are applying for a Federal financial assistance program and require a DUNS number.


Business entities can receive a DUNS number by visiting D&B’s website at:

To complete the DUNS number application process, you must give the following information:

  • The legal name of your company
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • CEO or business owner’s name
  • Legal structure or company kind (corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.)
  • The entity’s birth year
  • Primary business line
  • Total number of full- and part-time employees

Note: Obtaining a DUNS number places your company on D&B’s marketing list, which is in turn marketed to other businesses. During the application process, you can request that your name not be added to this list. You should not be charged a price by D&B for requesting a DUNS number. You are also not need to buy any of their products in order to receive DUNS. It may take 2 to 3 days to receive a DUNS number.

#2. Sign up at

Once you’ve been assigned a DUNS number, you must register on on an annual basis to continue receiving program financial support. You will need the same information used to obtain your DUNS number, as well as your Tax Identification Number (TIN) and other data to complete registration and reporting requirements, to complete the process on SAM.

If your organization has all of the required information, online registration should take about 30 minutes to complete, depending on the size and complexity of your business structure. It could take up to two weeks for your SAM registration to become active.

On the other hand, it will take approximately 24 hours for your registration information to become active if you are updating or renewing it.

Who Needs a DUNS Number?

A DUNS number can be obtained by any firm, regardless of age, size, or structure. And there are little drawbacks to doing so.

Applying for a DUNS number is free and aids in the establishment and growth of your business credit, which is made public to potential lenders, business partners, and investors. A good company credit score can help you get lower rates on small business loans, insurance, and trade credit agreements.

Businesses who plan to bid on government contracts should apply for a DUNS number well ahead of time. A DUNS number is required by many state and municipal governments in order to receive state money, whether through contract, grant, or loan. It may take up to 30 days to receive your DUNS number, so apply as soon as possible to avoid the stress and expense of expedited processing (more on that below).  

A DUNS number is also required to apply for several nonprofit loans and small-business awards.

DUNS numbers were previously necessary to apply for federal contracts or grants, but they will be phased away in April 2022 in favor of a Unique Entity Identifier, or UEI, provided through the United States General Services Administration’s System for Award Management, or

What Are DUNS Numbers Used For?

As defined by D&B, “The DUNS Number is used as the starting point for any company’s Live Business Identity, the most comprehensive and continually updated view of any company in the Data Cloud.” That’s quite the mouthful, so let’s break it down.

A DUNS number is a one-of-a-kind reference that D&B employs to assign data to a certain business. This DUNS number can then be used by other companies to search up data, make questions, and use D&B services relating to that business.

Credit Evaluation and Financing Decisions

In practice, a DUNS number is most commonly used for credit rating and lending decisions. The primary service that D&B offers is credit monitoring for commercial enterprises. It serves the same purpose for corporations and lenders that Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion do for personal loans. 

D&B will consider your payment and payback history, credit usage, age of business loan accounts, judgments and liens, and other variables, just like personal credit. They will use this to generate a credit report and score for your company, which will be associated with your DUNS number. A higher credit score. thus, increases your chances of getting a loan with better terms and lower interest rates.

Lenders are more inclined to grant money to new small businesses based on the business owner’s personal credit score rather than a DUNS number. However, for larger and more established enterprises, a D&B score in conjunction with a DUNS number can be a critical component of obtaining business finance.

A DUNS number is frequently required to acquire funding from federal agencies and other sources. You may be unable to obtain credit or qualify for some grants or government contracts if you do not have a DUNS number.

Potential Employees Researching Companies

It’s a challenging labor market right now, and job seekers have many options for where they want to work. Candidates are increasingly reviewing a prospective employer’s financial stability, and having a DUNS number makes this easy.

Business Partners, Manufacturers and Suppliers Assessing Your Business Risk

Business connections, supply chains, and networks all rely on trust between all stakeholders. With a DUNS number, potential business partners can look up your payment history, potential dangers, and other information to ensure that they want to do business with you. 

This is especially critical if you wish to sell products or services to government agencies or on a global scale. Potential partners may refuse to do business with you if you do not have a DUNS number.

Do You Need A DUNS Number For A Small Business?

A DUNS number is essential for any company that does business with the government. A DUNS number is also useful for firms who want to seek financing or expand to make it easier for lenders to analyze a company’s credit history.

One thing to keep in mind after obtaining a DUNS number is that public findings, judgments, and bankruptcies will be automatically added to the business’ credit history. A company that operates on credit terms with its vendors or suppliers will almost certainly need to report those transactions on their own in order for their credit history to reflect them, for which Dun & Bradstreet may charge a fee.

There are no negative consequences to obtaining a DUNS number and keeping a basic credit profile. Suppliers and financial institutions want as much information as possible, even if your credit history reveals bad information.

What is the Difference Between a DUNS Number and an EIN?

A DUNS number and an EIN are two separate corporate identities that serve different functions.

An employer identification number, or EIN, is a taxpayer identification number assigned by the IRS that is used to file business taxes. Your EIN can also be used to apply for a business checking account, credit card, or loan. Certain types of businesses must obtain an EIN for tax purposes.

A DUNS number, on the other hand, is used by other businesses and potential creditors to analyze the financial health of your organization. It is not utilized for tax purposes, and no firm is required to have one (but it may be necessary for some positions, grants, or loans).

You cannot obtain a DUNS number right away. D&B states it can take up to 30 days, but in practice, it’s usually considerably faster. D&B offers an expedited DUNS number service for a fee, which ensures a number within five business days.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Free DUNS Number?

D&B claims it can take up to 30 days, but it’s usually much faster, requiring only a few business days.

How Much is a DUNS Number?

If you don’t require your number right away, applying for a DUNS number is free. Businesses that want expedited processing can pay $229 to have their DUNS number in eight working days.

Does a DUNS Number Expire?

The DUNS number assigned to your company will not expire. In fact, it survives even if you close a site or cease operations totally.

What is Dun & Bradstreet?

The DUNS number was created by Dun & Bradstreet, one of the three major company credit bureaus. It was invented in 1962 and is now used worldwide to identify specific firms. Dun & Bradstreet assesses a company’s financial health using a variety of factors, assigning each a Paydex score, delinquency score, and failure score, among other ratings and predictors.

What is the Purpose of Having a DUNS Number?

A D&B DUNS number is a nine-digit identifier that is regarded as the global standard for tracking businesses around the world. It is intended to boost your firm’s credibility and provide potential consumers, lenders, and suppliers with information about your organization.

Is There A Downside To Having A Number?

There are no negative consequences to obtaining a DUNS number and keeping a basic credit profile. Suppliers and financial institutions want as much information as possible, even if your credit history reveals bad information.

Does A DUNS Number Build Credit?

Any suppliers, lenders, or enterprises that share payment information with Dun & Bradstreet will begin reporting your payment activity once you acquire a DUNS number. That is when you should start creating your business credit history.

How Hard Is It To Get A DUNS Number?

It can take up to 30 days to receive a DUNS number after filing an application. You can spend $229 to receive your DUNS number in five business days or less if you wish to speed up the procedure. If you’re registering as part of a bid for a government grant or contract, D&B may expedite some DUNS registrations for free.

Is a DUNS number the same as a tax ID number?

A DUNS number is distinct from a tax ID number. The IRS issues tax ID numbers to firms for tax purposes, whereas the DUNS is just for tracking company credit reports.

What is the difference between DUNS numbers and Paydex?

D&B assigns DUNS numbers to your firm, whilst Paydex is one of their credit scoring systems for businesses, akin to a FICO score for individuals. The scale is from 0 to 100. Low-risk firms normally score between 80 and 100, whereas high-risk businesses typically score between one and 49. To obtain your Paydex score, you must first obtain a DUNS number and provide at least four trade references.

Who can access my business’s credit report?

The whole public, including landlords, customers, insurers, and potential partners, can access your D&B business credit reports.

Does every company have a DUNS number?

Because companies are not obligated to obtain a DUNS number (unless they contract with government organizations), not every firm has one. However, 330 million global enterprises have a DUNS number, according to Dun & Bradstreet.

What is the difference between SAM and DUNS numbers?

To conduct federal government business, you must first obtain a DUNS number and then register with the System for Award Management (SAM). You can receive payments if you have a SAM number. Go to and use the same information you used to apply for your DUNS number.

In Conclusion,

We hope you find this information to be useful. Because DUNS numbers are a commonly used technique of tracking business creditworthiness, applying for one now makes sense. So, the next time you seek for a loan or begin working with a new business partner, you’ll have a number ready to go.

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