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What is a DUNS number?

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Quick Answer

A DUNS number is a nine-digit identifying number assigned to business entities around the world by Dun and Bradstreet, a publicly traded company based in the United States. DUNS is an acronym for Data Universal Numbering System, an information system developed and overseen by Dun and Bradstreet for use in credit reporting and other information services.

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What is a DUNS number?
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Full Answer

A DUNS number is available free to any business upon registration with Dun and Bradstreet. Many U.S. government agencies require that potential vendors, suppliers and other organizations looking to work with or partner with the agency must have a valid DUNS number. DUNS numbers are also required by certain foreign government agencies in the European Union, Australia and elsewhere and by international bodies such as the United Nations.

Dun and Bradstreet, a Fortune 500 company, maintains records on more than 225 million DUNS-registered companies around the world. In addition to its DUNS-based information services, it also provides specialized services in the supply-chain management and business-to-business marketing industries.

In the United States, all businesses looking to bid on government contracts must have a DUNS number to be eligible for basic business registration with the government. In another American example, non-profit and for-profit organizations interested in applying for a U.S. government grant must also have a DUNS number.

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