Get a Duns Number
Did you know a DUNS number is the most widely used number for identifying companies in the United States?
Did you also know suppliers and creditors alike will pull a D&B credit check on your business when you apply for credit?
If you are serious about establishing credit for your business then the first thing to do is get a DUNS Number so your company can get listed in Dun and Bradstreet’s database and set up your company’s credit file.
Part of establishing a creditworthy company includes establishing positive credit ratings with major business credit reporting agencies such as Dun and Bradstreet.
When you apply for a DUNs Number the Data Universal Numbering System will issue a nine-digit number that will be unique to your company. This DUNs number will be used to create your business credit file similar to how your social security number is used to identify your personal credit reports.
To check to see if you have a DUNSFile first enter your legal business name, city, and state in the www.dandb.com search box and click on the search tab. This will check to see if your company is already listed with D&B and has a DUNS number.
You’ll see a list of possible matches but click on the tab only if you believe there is a close match to your company name. Doing so will require that you verify specific information about your business.
Once you gain authorization D&B will provide you access to your files via iUpdate, where you can review, update, correct, and add company information. We will discuss more on iUpdate in future steps.
Now if your company does not show up in the search results than most likely you do not have a DUNs Number so the next step would be to get a DUNS Number.
It is important to note that once you set up your DUNSFile, your file will be created but it will be considered an incomplete file (marketing file) if you have no trade references reporting.
You can either upgrade to one of their programs so you can add trade references to your file if they are acceptable references according to DandB or you can apply for starter vendor accounts and wait for your new suppliers to report your payment activity.
Remember, once you obtain your DUNS Number the next step is to start establishing business credit by adding positive trade references to your file. This only happens when you start making purchases with creditors that report your payment history.
With over 500,000 suppliers in the U.S. and less than 6,000 that actually report to the business credit agencies don’t get caught up in the mistake of applying for credit with non-reporting creditors.
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community and AllBusiness.com. His articles and blog; BusinessCreditBlogger.com have been featured in the SBA Community, American Express Small Business, Business Week, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Tribune, Scotsman Guide, Alltop and Entrepreneur Connect.