Simply put, a DUNS number is a nine-digit number that lenders use to identify your business. DUNS stands for Data Universal Numbering System. This system was developed initially in 1963 by Dun & Bradstreet to help support their credit reporting agency. The system was adopted on a global scale and is now used by a number of nations. Recognized within over 50 trade associations, the DUNS database holds over 280 million businesses from around the world.
If you need to secure capital for your business through business loans or credit, your DUNS number can be very helpful. The DUNS database contains listings of Dun & Bradstreet credit files for businesses that allow lenders to get an overview of the stability and financial reliability of your company. This credit file can be used by new business partners as well to help them to better determine your company’s stability when choosing whether or not to invest in your business. The DUNS database offers updated financial information that helps to make lending decisions easier for lenders.
You are not required to obtain a DUNS number, although these numbers can help if you plan to expand your trade to other countries. Businesses that participate in the DUNS system reap a number of benefits. Even if you already having start up funding in place, a DUNS number can help you to improve the likelihood of renewed funding and help you to increase your initial loan amount or negotiate more favorable terms for your current loans.
A DUNS number will also help your company to establish credibility. It allows you to be seen as a legitimate company in the eyes of government bodies, so you could potentially be considered for government contracts. Many countries that use the DUNS system require that you have a number before you can bid on government proposals.
If you want to obtain a DUNS number, this is a simple process. If you have a registered company that is based in either the UK or Ireland via companies house or a company formations agent, you are automatically issued your own DUNS number. This number costs you nothing and you can look the number up online if you are unsure of what it is. If your company is registered outside of the UK, you can still request this number through Dun & Bradstreet online. It takes around five business days for the request to be filled and the number to be assigned. If you are planning to apply for a DUNS number and your business is registered outside of the UK or Ireland, you will need to provide your legal name, company headquarter name and address, mailing address, telephone number, contact name and a few other important details about your company.
Having a DUNS number can be very beneficial if you are planning to obtain credit or if you want to negotiate better terms for your company loans. It is virtually essential if you are planning to trade with many businesses abroad because most of them will insist that you have this number before they will do business with you.