When it comes to credit scores, you’re probably familiar with the FICO® and VantageScore®. But as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to get familiar with D-U-N-S number too, which has to do with your business credit. Just like your personal credit score, your business credit report is a way for potential lenders and vendors to gauge your financial reputation. And your D-U-N-S number determines your creditworthiness.
just how important is a business credit score? According to the NSBA Small Business Access to Capital Study, 27 percent of small businesses surveyed reported that they were not able to get the funding they needed. Furthermore, 20 percent of small business loans are denied because of business credit. Having a solid business line of credit means you’ll be able to get better terms with vendors, suppliers, and lenders, which in turn will help your company’s bottom line.
To ensure you have a solid business line of credit, you’ll need to gain familiarity with the D-U-N-S number. Here, we’ll go over the basics of a D-U-N-S number and how it can help you with your business line of credit.
What Is a D-U-N-S Number?
Your D-U-N-S number, or Data Universal Numbering System, is a nine-digit number issued by the credit bureau Dun & Bradstreet. This unique number is connected to your business credit profile. Once you receive one, lenders and vendors will look up your D&B number when deciding whether or not to do business with you.
What are the Benefits of a D-U-N-S Number?
- Keeps your personal and business credit separate: When you have a number tied just to your business line of credit, you’ll be able to keep your personal and business credit separate. Since you won’t be relying as heavily on your personal line of credit, it’s somewhat less risky if you need to keep a large amount of debt for business purposes.
- Better terms: If you can prove your business creditworthiness to vendors and suppliers, you’ll be able to secure better terms. And better terms means you’ll be saving more money, which you can reinvest back into your business.
- Eligible for more certifications and applications: Finally, you can also apply for more business certifications than you would otherwise be eligible for without a D-U-N-S number. For instance, to bid on a government contract and sell goods and services to the U.S. government, you’ll need a D-U-N-S number. And having one speeds up the process of getting an SSL certificate for your company’s website, for example.
How Can You Get a D-U-N-S Number?
A D-U-N-S registration is free. First, see whether a D-U-N-S number already exists for your company. You can check this by doing a D-U-N-S number lookup on the Dun & Bradstreet website.
If you don’t have one already, you can request a D-U-N-S number on the Dun & Bradstreet website. You’ll need to set up your business as a legal entity first (e.g., S Corp, C Corp, LLC). Next, you’ll need to provide basic information about your company, such as:
- Legal name
- Headquarters name and business address
- Your business’ Doing Business As (DBA)
- Physical address
- Telephone number
- Contact information
- Number of employees
Having a D&B number or D-U-N-S number can help boost your small business’ financial reputation, and in turn, its creditworthiness. And maintaining good credit will help your company thrive.