Established in 1962, Dun & Bradstreet's Data Universal Numbering System, commonly known as the D-U-N-S® Number, is a unique global business identification system that identifies, validates, and links to more than 280 million businesses worldwide.
The D-U-N-S Number is a nine-digit non-indicative numbering sequence and is assigned at the lowest organizational level, i.e. business locations with a unique, separate, and distinct operation. The D-U-N-S Number is assigned to all types of business organizations including sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, non-profits, and government entities. The D-U-N-S Number is constant - it stays with a business throughout the lifecycle including name, address and corporate structure changes and even bankruptcy.
The D-U-N-S Number is not just a number; it is a system for maintaining accurate, comprehensive and timely information - and it is issued rapidly and free of charge for all entities wanting to do business with the U.S. Federal Government.
should my business get a DUNS number?
The short and immediate answer is: YES. The basic requirement for any company -- aside from being a small business -- join the US Small Business Chamber of Commerce is having a DUNS number. The Chamber uses it as the basic, simplified way of identifying your business as your business; DUNS numbers are unique, consistent identifiers that help us place who your business is so that we can best help it.
In addition to the more immediate concerns of your company's relation to the Chamber, the DUNS number is a requirement in a variety of situations -- perhaps most notably in terms of business development with relation to government contracting. Every government contractor MUST have a DUNS number, so if this is an avenue of interest for your business, you will eventually need one as it is the first step in gaining a SAM registration.
Keep in mind, if your business has been around for a certain amount of time, there is a good chance that it already has a DUNS number. If you are uncertain as to whether or not your business already has a DUNS number, you can click on this link to look up your business: See If You Have a DUNS. Most of the time, a company gains a DUNS by actually registering, and there is a chance a business principal did register at one time and simply forgot. However, there is a chance that your business has a DUNS number but never actually set it up. Watch the below video to learn more about how that might have happened.
If you are having trouble or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us for additional support. Some assistance -- such a personalized attention or consulting referrals -- may require your company to becoming a member of the Chamber. Feel free to click on the below button to go to our contact page and reach out to us.