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What Is A DUNS Number? | Speed Commerce

What Is A DUNS Number?

3PL Glossary > DUNS Number

What Is A DUNS Number?

A DUNS number, or Data Universal Numbering System number, is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned to businesses by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a global business information provider. Introduced in 1962, the DUNS number serves as a distinct reference for each business entity in the Dun & Bradstreet database. This system aids in the identification and tracking of businesses, providing a standardized means for businesses and government entities to access, monitor, and analyze vital information about other companies.

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DUNS numbers are widely used across the business world, serving various purposes. They are commonly required for businesses seeking to engage in international trade or government contracting, as many governments and organizations worldwide use DUNS numbers to assess the creditworthiness and reliability of potential partners or vendors. In addition, DUNS numbers are utilized by credit reporting agencies and financial institutions to evaluate a business's credit history and financial stability.

Obtaining a DUNS number involves a straightforward process. Businesses can request a DUNS number directly from Dun & Bradstreet's website. Once assigned, the DUNS number becomes an integral part of a company's identity, facilitating transactions, credit assessments, and business interactions on a global scale.


Whether you need a DUNS number depends on your business activities. It is typically required for international trade, government contracts, and certain corporate registrations. Many government agencies and organizations, especially in the United States, use DUNS numbers for vendor and business identification. In addition, if you plan to publish apps on the Apple App Store, Apple requires a DUNS number during the developer registration process. While not universally mandatory, having a DUNS number can enhance your business credibility, facilitate transactions, and open up opportunities in various sectors. You can obtain a DUNS number through Dun & Bradstreet's straightforward application process.

To find your DUNS number, check any confirmation or communication from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) when you initially obtained it, such as emails or physical confirmation letters. It may also be included in business credit reports obtained from D&B or prominently displayed in your account if you subscribe to their Business Credit Monitor service. Review any supplier or vendor registration documents with companies or government entities, as your DUNS number is often mentioned in these materials. If needed, contact Dun & Bradstreet directly for assistance in retrieving your DUNS number, providing them with the necessary business identification information. Keeping your DUNS number accessible is essential for various business transactions and credit assessments.

The processing time for a DUNS number can vary based on several factors, including the volume of requests received by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in your application, and the specific services or features associated with your request. Delays may occur if additional verification or information is needed to complete the registration process. While some may assert a waiting period of 2-4 weeks, the actual average duration tends to be longer. For foreign companies, the anticipated waiting time is typically in the range of 6-12 weeks.

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