The simplest definition of a DUNS number would be that it's a unique randomly generated nine digit number used to identify a business. D-U-N-S stands for Data Universal Numbering System and it was introduced in 1963. Since that time these numbers have been assigned to more than one hundred million businesses worldwide. This makes DUNS the most popular business identifying numbering system in the world.
Obtaining a DUNS number is a vital part of the business credit building process. If you fail to request the number for your business one may be generated for you without your knowledge. Either way, you should know the DUNS number assigned to your business. You may be required to provide the number when applying for business credit and grants, among other things. In fact, the number of reasons why you need a DUNS number seems to be slowly growing as time progresses.
Normally there is no charge for obtaining a DUNS number. One can be requested via the free D&B DUNS Number process which usually takes 30-45 days. However, you can also obtain a DUNS number more quickly by paying a small fee for an expedited process. Additionally, you can make the request for a DUNS Number over the telephone by call 888-744-3849. There are benefits to having a number issued as quickly as possible. So consider your options carefully.