How to Apply For a Duns

D-U-N-S is the acronym for "Data Universal Numbering System." This number was devised in 1962 by the Dun & Bradstreet corporation to identify worldwide businesses, public agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Those who have D-U-N-S numbers agree to share demographic information such as who owns the organization, how it is structured (for example, a partnership or sole proprietorship), creditworthiness and if it is connected to another business. The D-U-N-S number stays with the organization even if it changes ownership or goes out of business.


  1. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 1
    Search Dun & Bradstreet records to see if you already have a D-U-N-S number. Go to the Dun & Bradstreet website and click the link to "Get a D-U-N-S Number". It will prompt you to see if your company already has one. All you need to know is your company name, city and state of operation. If your company name does not appear, you can apply for a D-U-N-S number.
  2. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 2
    Begin to apply for a D-U-N-S number. On the results page that shows your company is not listed in the D&B database, click the yellow "Get Started" button.
  3. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 3
    Submit your first and last name, business title, phone number and email address. Next, list your formal organization's name. Below it, provide all other names that your business might be listed under. For example, if you are "Joe's Print Shop" in your hometown but also known as "Speedy Printing" online, list both business names. Including both names makes it easy for potential credit lenders and business partners to locate your operation.
  4. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 4
    Include the organization's physical address, mailing address (if different) and any phone numbers you use. If you have a fax machine, ensure that you add that number, too. Select the yellow "Next" button to continue the application for a D-U-N-S number.
  5. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 5
    Provide ownership information about the business. Include the business owner's name and email address. Dun & Bradstreet's privacy policy dictates that they will not sell email addresses to third parties.
  6. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 6
    Complete the ownership section by sharing information about the organization's legal structure, shareholders (if any), when the business was started and if it is owned by a woman, veteran or minority person. Including these facts can help your organization make contact with groups that specialize in assisting economically disadvantaged businesses operated by these demographic groups. If your organization is owned by a larger entity, be sure to include that information in the last section.
  7. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 7
    Add any management information about your business. Include all vice presidents, principals and directors, if any, and when they started working at the organization. Click the yellow "Next" button to continue to apply for a D-U-N-S number.
  8. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 8
    Describe what your business does in the "Primary Line of Business" box. Dun & Bradstreet also needs to know if you are an Internet-based operation, where you sell to and how you bill customers. List facts about how large your facility is and what kind of building it is located in.
  9. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 9
    Ensure that you understand the "Terms and Conditions" shared with you at the bottom of the page that requests details about your primary line of business. Check the box if you agree with Dun & Bradstreet's terms. Then, click the yellow "Next" button to move on.
  10. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 10
    Choose a time frame option for getting a D-U-N-S number. If you need the number within 5 business days, select the option indicating a rush charge to expedite your number assignment. But if you can wait 30 days, choose the "Free" option and click the yellow "Next" button to register your information.
  11. Image titled Apply For a Duns Step 11
    Review your information and print the review page for your records. Look for an email from Dun & Bradstreet within 30 days indicating your assigned D-U-N-S number.


  • If you want to conduct business with the federal government, you will need to apply for a D-U-N-S number before submitting your application for work. Be sure to submit your information to Dun & Bradstreet far enough in advance to meet any contract deadlines.

Article Info

Categories: Business