Searching for a CUSIP number for a particular company requires accessing either a database of identifiers owned by Standard & Poor's or a service with contracted use of the database, explains Investopedia. Fidelity Investments offers a search tool that provides access to company CUSIP numbers.
Access to the CUSIP system is sometimes difficult, as Investopedia reports. Fidelity Investments' website provides an opportunity to obtain CUSIP numbers for companies by searching for company names using the active quote search tool. The database of CUSIP numbers belongs to Standard & Poor's, and new numbers are assigned by the American Banker's Association.
CUSIP numbers are used as unique identifiers for financial securities, explains the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These numbers are linked to data profiles and allow financial instruments to be categorized within groups of securities with similar characteristics. Each profile is attached with a CUSIP number to the specific the company issuing the security, the type of financial instrument, and the country where the security was issued. Numbers have nine characters, with the first character identifying the country of issue and the other characters identifying the issuer and security type. Financial instruments created outside the U.S. and Canada are assigned a similar number, using the CUSIP International Numbering System.