The DUNS number. What's it for? How to get one for free.
DUNS® IS OWNED BY DUN AND BRADSTREET. FOR OUR REVIEW AND THIS DISCUSSION, WE REFER TO IT AS THE “DUNS.” WHAT IS IT AND WHERE DO I GET ONE? ARE CUSTOMERS OF DUN AND BRADSTREET HAPPY PAYING $229 FOR SOMETHING THAT IS FREE IN 30-45 DAYS?
What is a DUNS Number? DUNS means Data Universal Numbering Systems or D-U-N-S and its copyrighted by D&B. For the discussion here we call it the DUNS. It’s a nine digit number by D&B to identify businesses, according to name and location. If the company is in good standing, dissolved or out of business, the DUNS is assigned to that business at that particular address. The DUNS leads to disclosure of company data; such as mailing address, DBA’s, financial information, payment history and more.
D&B will assign a DUNS to your business if you like it or not. They are simply naming your company a number. And that number is used by D&B to identify your company so they can sell information about your business. The information that they sell, according to their own admission, doesn’t need to be accurate. D&B labels company according to the risk level rated by D&B. And much of what they do is arbitrary.
D&B believes you have the responsibility to tell them your sales numbers. Yes, they believe you owe them an answer as to your business, what you do, your sales number and other data. And of course, they sell this information about your business. All of this information is indexed according to their DUNS system.
Your business may acquire a DUNS for free in 30 to 45 days, or pay about $229 to get one in less than a week. That’s right, D&B wants you to pay $229 to get the DUNS rather than wait a month to obtain it for free. D&B also wants you to pay $1399 to “update” your companies credit profile.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER(EIN) and D&B's DUNS?
An EIN is used to communicate with the IRS, and on company’s tax returns. An EIN is also used by the bank to identify your company to look up accounts, loans, loan applications and other information. An EIN for your company is like a SSN for you as US human.
The DUNS is a number issued by D&B for identifying your company and to share information about your company. The DUNS is issued by D&B, a corporation. Although D&B sells information to the IRS, and the IRS may find out your company’s DUNS number, the DUNS is not used to pay taxes.
HOW DO I GET A DUNS?
Clients reported the DUNS is free if you can wait a month. An online chat with a D&B representative confirmed that the DUNS is received within 30 to 45 days, free of charge. You can contact D&B directly for DUNS. Alternatively, you can apply for credit and a DUNS is assigned automatically within a month.
WHAT IF I WANT A DUNS SOONER AND DON'T WANT TO WAIT 30 TO 45 DAYS?
D&B LIKES TO CHARGE A FEE TO CUT PROCESSING FROM 30-45 DAYS DOWN TO 3-5 DAYS.
Timing is important. We sell aged shelf companies for a fee. Aged companies cost more than new companies because they are older. In effect, you leverage time with an aged shelf company. By acquiring an aged company, you’re jumping years ahead instead of starting business with a new company.
Likewise, the various Secretary of States like to charge a fee to expedite processing of your company articles of incorporation. Just the same, D&B likes to charge a fee to “expedite” the issuance of a DUNS. The US Postal Service charges extra for Express Mail than First Class Mail. But if you really think about, why does it take 30 to 45 days to issue a DUNS? Our review of the D&B approach is that they are geared to collect fees.
So, we’re going to discuss several ways to get a DUNS.
The issue of time is a consistent practice, benefit and cost in business. Whether you mail something first class or send it Fedex, or pay the Secretary of State expedited handling carries a premium in pricing. D&B is no exception to this universal rule. Although D&B doesn’t like aged shelf companies, they are not immune from charging about $229 to get a DUNS within a week, so you don’t need to wait a month.
Check out this link on the promoting of their DUNS express service:
IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO GET A DUNS WITHOUT CONTACTING D&B?
D&B wants to charge a fee to give you a DUNS. D&B also collects information about your business to sell to other businesses. This is how they make money. So, let’s work within the “system” to obtain a DUNS with minimum interaction with D&B. Why?
Let’s say you visit Lowes or Home Depot, or Grainger.com, and apply for business credit line using your corporation. Then Grainger, for example, contacts D&B and asks them (digitally) for a copy of your company’s file and DUNS number.D&B notices there’s no DUNS and issues one so they may sell this information to Grainger.
Again, D&B makes money in selling the payment and business information that they collect (about your business). And they collect this information through various public and private sources. The bottom line is that D&B will issue that DUNS because Grainger asked for one. Then D&B will go to work to solicit money from you. D&B will call your business, based on the contact information you left on the application (with Grainger).
Then do a text search for “Accuracy.” Strange that D&B doesn’t warrant for “accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any of the data and/or programs(information) available at this D&B Site.”
GET THE DUNS WITHOUT TALKING TO D&B
ALWAYS BE TRUTHFUL
D&B sells their information to the IRS. Yes, the IRS buys data from D&B. Whatever information you provide on a credit application, involving your business, is shared with D&B. And D&B shares that information with the IRS. If the information on your tax return doesn't match up to the D&B data, your business may be targeted for audit. Once you give any information to D&B, you're also giving it to the IRS. Be truthful to the IRS. Be truthful on all loan applications. And be truthful on any information given to D&B. Remember, any information on a business loan application is information shared with D&B and eventually the IRS.