Demystifying the D&B D-U-N-S® Number — What is it? How is it used?

Share on Twitter || Share on LinkedIn || Share on FacebookDemystifying the DUNS InfographicShare on Twitter || Share on LinkedIn || Share on Facebook

My team is fortunate to travel to dozens of business events each year and talk to thousands of small business owners.  Two questions we find ourselves answering again and again are:

  • What is a D&B D-U-N-S Number®?
  • How is it used?

With that in mind, we thought the infographic included above would help demonstrate just how widely the DUNS Number is used within the business community… as well as highlight some ways that business owners are leveraging their healthy business credit profiles into opportunities for growth! Curious if your small business already has a DUNS Number?  

Use this free look up.  If you find your business in the lookup, then you’re company has a DUNS number and you’re already listed within the D&B database (and it’s probably a great time to sign up for alerts to changes in your file using our free CreditSignal product.)
If you can’t find your business in our lookup, make sure to get a free DUNS number now so you can start building out your business credit profile. And of course, if you have any DUNS Number related questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!
About Dustin Luther

As Director of Engagement at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp (@DandB), I manage our teams focused on social media and events and always looking for opportunities to engage with small business owners and influencers, both online and in-person! You can find me on Twitter (@tyr), Facebook (dluther) and Google+ (+Dustin Luther).

Do you have an interesting opportunity you'd like to get in front of the @DandB team? Maybe an interesting idea, product or story? Maybe an event that attracts small business experts? Let's talk!


  1. Jimmy taylor says:

    Would like to know. More info

    • Hi Jimmy: What more information can we get you? Are you interested in learning more about getting a DUNS? More about the statistics behind the DUNS? I’d be happy to get you more info!

  2. What are the leading activities that will trigger a D&B DUNS Number being created on it’s own? Of all of the businesses I’ve been involved with, the only item recorded with D&B is a Trade Name/DBA. I was under the impression that D&B searched new registrations with the various Secretaries of State, etc.

    On a related note, what are the methods in which to fast track the registration of a DUNS Number with D&B?

    • Hi Keith,

      That’s a great question… There’s more than a few things that can trigger the creation of a D&B DUNS Number:

      “Many kinds of activities can trigger a profile on a new company, such as incorporating your business, applying for a loan, getting a business telephone number, taking out a lease on office space – even just when another company seeks information from D&B about your business.”

      While any US business can request a free DUNS number here, there’s also the option to expedite the process here: DUNSFile.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Francis Brantley says:

    I do have a D&B D-U-N-N-S number. I only need a form to update my company’s profile by changing the name of My CEO sense the organization is not in operation at the moment. I have tried to access the website several times to no avail.

    Will someone please direct me on how to access the website and aquire the form? I would appreciate the help.


    • Lennon Cole says:

      Hi Francis –

      You can update your company’s information easily at Either sign in or create an account, then you’ll be able to update your company’s general information in your D&B business credit file.

      Let me know if you run into any issues.


  4. Christine says:

    I work for a local government and we are trying to determine if we are required to have our contractors provide a duns number when dealing with federal grants or do only we need one?

    • Hi Christine: It’s hard for me to know the answer to that. If you reach out to me directly: socialmedia at

      I’d be happy to connect you with someone who can follow up with you in detail.

  5. Reblogged this on Godsent247's Blog and commented:
    Thanks Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp ((e)DANDB) :) … Appreciate You :) Well Done. #EALeader #FulfillingTheNeed #FulfillingPurpose — (e)GODSENT247 You — (e)GODSPEED

  6. If the DUNS number is tied to a physical location, if Company A moves from location X to location Y, does the DUNS number change to reflect the new location? This could be expanded to include a branches/divisions as well; e.g., a bank branch moves locations.
    This would be similar to an individual SSN. The new location would be updated in the database.

    In one gov listing, however, it mentions that the DUNS number remains with the company location to which it has been assigned, even if it closes or goes out-of-business. This seems to imply that a company moving locations would be issued a new DUNS number for the new location.

    Related, what impact does a name change have on the DUNS number?


    • One correction… This would be similar to an individual SSN if the DUNS number remained the same and “traveled” with the company. If the DUNS number changes, it is specifically tied to a location.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks so much for the great question. It is possible to update the location of a company… and assuming the changes are approved, then the existing D&B D-U-N-S number will follow with the company.

      To update an address (as well as other company information), you can use the free Company Update portal: .

      Hope that helps!



  1. […] We’re right there with the others mentioned above —Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. is committed to helping small businesses thrive, and we do so in part through our free products. Stay alerted to changes in your business credit profile with CreditSignal®, and register your business for its free D&B D-U-N-S Number. What’s a D&B D-U-N-S number, you ask? Well, here’s an infographic we made that breaks down just how important it is to businesses. […]

  2. […] developed the D-U-N-S number as a key part of its credit reporting function, and it has become a worldwide standard for business […]

  3. […] ideas with the SBA today, and when you do set up your own business, be sure to sign up for a free D&B® D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number will help you build and audit your businesses credit score. A D-U-N-S number is a […]

  4. […]  Demystifying the D&B D-U-N-S® Number — What is it? How is it used? […]

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