The process of building your reputation as a serious business entity can be a complicated task. And there can be a number of documents that you need to help cultivate your business’s legitimacy.
Getting a DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) can help establish a professional foundation for your business and attract potential investors, partners, and the ability to register for federal contracts.
Read on to learn how to get a DUNS number in four easy steps.
What is a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number?
The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is a unique nine-digit number that is made available to the public and private sectors to identify a business’s credit history. It also allows the government to account for federal contracts and grants to which any transaction is made.
The DUNS is also an indicator of building a business’s credibility, which in turn can help lead to the collaboration of investors and lenders with your business. In short, the DUNS is a crucial documented number that a business needs to expand and cultivate its business ventures.
Who Needs a DUNS Number?
A DUNS number can be beneficial for any business that wants to establish credibility, improve business relations, and access funding opportunities.
Here are some key reasons how one can benefit from a DUNS number:
- Small Businesses: Small businesses can benefit from having a DUNS number as it can help them establish a strong reputation for potential partners, investors, and lenders. It can also provide access to funding opportunities, such as loans or grants, that might not be available otherwise.
- Government Agencies: Government agencies use DUNS numbers to identify businesses that are eligible for government contracts. Having a DUNS number can help businesses establish eligibility and access these opportunities.
- International Businesses: The DUNS number is recognized globally and can help international businesses establish visibility in new markets. It’s used by businesses, governments, and organizations worldwide—making it easier to establish partnerships and access funds on a global scale.
- Businesses Seeking Funding: Lenders and investors often use DUNS numbers to evaluate business credit and financial stability. Having a DUNS number can help businesses improve their chances of securing funding.
- Businesses Seeking Partnerships: A DUNS number can help businesses showcase their brand among potential partners and make it easier to connect with other businesses in the industry.
Why Should You Get a DUNS Number?
Not only is it necessary for some companies to obtain a DUNS number in order to conduct business, but there are several benefits associated with having a DUNS number.
One major benefit of a DUNS number is that it increases your company’s visibility. A built-in marketing tactic, if you will. Once you register and your DUNS number is approved, you can be listed in Dun & Bradstreet’s database (a global research platform used by high-profile clients, businesses, and organizations,).
Another key advantage of having a DUNS number is the relationships you can build as a business owner. The DUNS conveys a sense of professionalism and can build trust with shareholders, business partners, and customers.
This relationship and trust that you build with people may make them inclined to invest or lend capital to your business. After all, when it comes to spending money, people want something that will underpin the viability of a business plan.
There are many other advantages when it comes to getting a DUNS number, but these are the main points a company should consider.
Now let us discuss how can you obtain this important nine-digit number.
How to Get a DUNS Number?
Once you’ve got a good idea of what a DUNS number entails and its benefits, let’s delve into how to get one and set your business up for success.
Here are four easy steps you need to follow to get your DUNS number:
1. Visit the Dun & Bradstreet Site or Call Them Via Landline
You can secure a DUNS number by visiting the Dun & Bradstreet website and selecting the “Get a DUNS Number” option. If you prefer, you can also contact Dun & Bradstreet by phone to request a DUNS number. After reviewing the information you provide, Dun & Bradstreet will assign your company a unique nine-digit number.
2. Provide the Necessary Information
Next, in order to secure a DUNS number, you are required to share specific details about your enterprise, such as its legal name, mailing and physical address, contact number, email, and total number of employees.
You must also indicate your business’s legal structure, be it a:
- Sole proprietorship
- LLC (Limited Liability Corporation)
Depending on the nature of your business, you might also be asked to supply further documentation like your business license or employer identification number (EIN).
3. Submit Your Application
Once you’ve provided all the necessary information to Dun & Bradstreet, you can submit your application for a DUNS number. A representative will then verify your information and assign you a unique number. You can start using your DUNS number immediately to access new resources once you have been validated.
4. Wait for a Validation Call
After submitting your application for a DUNS number, you may be asked to wait for a validation call. During this call, a representative will verify the information you provided and ask you a few additional questions to confirm your identity and legitimacy. Once your information has been verified, they will assign you a unique DUNS number.
Understanding the System for Award Management (SAM)
The System for Award Management is a government-wide portal designed to simplify the procurement process between businesses and the central government.
The SAM is used by federal agencies to verify that a company is eligible for federal contracts and grants. All companies wishing to do business with the federal government must register for SAM. Once registered, companies can search for contract opportunities, submit bids, and receive payments.
Before you can register for SAM, you must register for a DUNS number. This simplifies the process to collect and maintain information about companies that want to do business with the government.
How Does a DUNS Number Help Your Business?
If you’re looking to do business with the federal government, enhance your credibility, and build relationships with other aspiring companies—registering in the System for Award Management (SAM) and obtaining a DUNS number are essential.
At Doola, we understand the importance of SAM and DUNS registration for businesses seeking to do business with the government. Our team of experienced bookkeepers can help you stay organized and compliant with federal regulations.
From managing your cash flow to handling invoicing and taxes, we can help you streamline your financial operations so you can focus on growing your business.
How much does it cost to get a DUNS number?
There is no cost to obtain a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet. It is provided free of charge to businesses.
Do you need a tax ID to get a DUNS number?
While a tax ID is not strictly required to obtain a DUNS number, it is highly recommended as it can help verify a business’s identity and ensure that its credit history is accurately reported.
Are DUNS numbers permanent?
DUNS numbers are generally permanent and assigned for the entire life of a business.
Can a sole proprietor get a DUNS number?
Yes, a sole proprietor can get a DUNS number. The process for obtaining a DUNS number is the same for all types of businesses, and the owner’s Social Security Number can be used in place of a tax ID number.
Can non-US companies get a DUNS number?
Yes, non-US companies can obtain a DUNS number. The process for obtaining a DUNS will vary based on location and industry and may take longer to get validated.