The purpose of a D&B, or D-U-N-S, number is to provide information about a company's creditworthiness to organizations seeking to extend contracts to vendors, notes Dun & Bradstreet. As of 2015, more than 200 associations, including the United Nations and the U.S. government, use these numbers to make decisions.
Each physical location of a company receives a nine-digit D-U-N-S number after applying for this service, Dun & Bradstreet states. Each code is unique to that location and never is assigned to another business. When an organization looks up a potential vendor's D-U-N-S number, it receives information about that vendor's reliability. Businesses can apply for a D-U-N-S number online.