You may have heard of DUNS numbers, but if you aren’t sure what they are or what they are used for, you have come to the right place. It seems like to run a business these days, there are endless requisites or options that help your business run smoother, and a DUNS number is one of them.

Businesses of any size will benefit from obtaining a DUNS number, as there are a number of advantages to having one. For starters, lenders and business partners will view your business as more credible if you have a valid DUNS number. They are helpful for businesses and business owners working to acquire loans or funding, or attract new customers or business partnerships.

Additionally, a DUNS number is important if you want to access certain financial information databases which are only available to DUNS number holders.

These numbers are also beneficial for protecting your identity in the marketplace and getting access to better opportunities for growth on an international scale.

Learn more about this important business tool below and why it may be beneficial to get one for your business.

What Is a DUNS Number?

Simply put, a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number, sometimes stylized as a D-U-N-S Number, is an identification number issued by Dun & Bradstreet — one of the three major business credit bureaus — as a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. This number is used to help keep track of credit, manage things like business names and addresses, and obtain updated financial information.

These numbers are used by banks, creditors, suppliers, and other companies that want to verify a business’s identity through a simple and established platform. They are used across the world, and many international companies will request an American business’s DUNS number in order to ensure that all of the information is correct and to avoid mistakes or issues when there are multiple entities with similar names.

These numbers play a crucial role in the process of obtaining credit, accessing financial information about companies, applying for government grants or contracts, and protecting your company’s identity in the marketplace.

Many of the benefits of obtaining a DUNS number pertain to streamlining a number of business processes by having an internationally recognized and established identity verification process that can alleviate a number of errors and grant additional access to valuable information.

Who Needs a DUNS Number?

A DUNS number is not mandated by law, but obtaining one is highly advised for businesses of any size in order to gain access to a number of advantages.

Small Businesses

On many levels, a small business has the same needs as larger companies, including protecting their identities in the marketplace and seeking financial opportunities to meet growth targets. A valid DUNS number is, in some senses, a ticket to benefits like qualifying for government contracts and access to global databases regarding financial information relevant to the industry.

While having a DUNS number is not required, it will help expedite the loan application process becaus financial institutions will often pull this number as an initial validation step before moving forward. As anyone who has applied for loans or financing can attest, anything to move the process along is a welcome advantage — especially for small businesses that are operating with less runway than massive and established corporations that may already have revolving lines of credit and loan arrangements established.

Medium-Sized Businesses

Medium-sized businesses that are looking to expand their reach across international borders will immediately benefit from obtaining a DUNS number so they can accurately identify themselves when dealing with international entities or entering new markets. Many international entities will avoid working with businesses if they do not have a DUNs number. It’s a simple and secure way to validate identity and establish clear and secure communication after confirming that a business entity is who they say they are.

Large Enterprises

A DUNS number is essentially required of large enterprises, especially companies that rely on using government contracts for growth. Without a valid DUNS number, there are countless additional hurdles to international business and entering new markets.

This simple nine-digit number allows businesses of all sizes to prove who they are and use it for credibility when seeking loans or partnerships in foreign countries.

Who Is Dun & Bradstreet?

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is one of the three major business credit bureaus, along with Experian and Equifax. Founded in 1841 and based in Jacksonville, Florida, D&B focuses on helping businesses find reliable customers and market their products more effectively using business data and research. D&B’s global database has information on roughly 240 million businesses worldwide and has grown significantly over the years to become a global corporation that helps businesses establish and maintain trust in the international markets.

When Was the DUNS Number First Introduced?

The DUNS number was initially introduced in 1963 as a seven-digit number, created by Dun & Bradstreet with the goal of creating a system that would help businesses and organizations identify their own information with ease. The system was quickly adopted and has since grown to be used by a number of large financial institutions, government entities, and businesses. Due to tremendous growth and adoption, the number is now nine digits long.

Other Signs of Trust in Business

There are a number of different indicators that a business is trustworthy. Some examples include affiliations with trade associations, certifications from government bodies, or consistently strong public customer reviews and ratings. Industry awards and accreditations are also strong indications that a business is reputable and reliable, as are the years they have remained in business (although none of these are enough to stand entirely on their own).

You can also make some safe assumptions about a business based on its website and online presence, such as social media accounts and the way they respond to critical reviews online.

A secure payment system in place on their online platform is another way for a business to establish trust with their customers or other businesses, showing that there have not been significant issues, such as failure to deliver in the past that resulted in chargebacks or disputes.

RangeMe Verified Can Streamline the Trust Process

Finally, RangeMe members can count on our Verified process when determining which businesses to connect with on our platform. While there are many reputable businesses we are proud to call members that are not Verified, this is a great way for buyers, sellers, and service providers alike to quickly filter business results and determine who to work with.

DUNS Numbers: Not Mandated, But Very Important

To wrap this up: DUNS numbers are important tools for businesses to be able to identify their credit ratings and other unique information, as well as to establish trust with their customers and other businesses. As commerce continues to globalize and the differences between foreign nations’ systems continue to complicate international business, a tool like this — designed to verify accurate business data across the world — is indispensable.

However, it’s important to remember that a DUNS number is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to establishing trust and signifying your business’s credibility. The other factors listed above should also be taken into consideration when deciding which businesses you actively choose to form partnerships with — and getting searching RangeMe Verified is a great way to hone in on businesses that you are interested in approaching on our platform.

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