A DUNS number, officially referring to the Data Numbering System, is a number created by Dun & Bradstreet that helps track the finances of businesses. Not every company is required to have a DUNS number but those who enter the public sector, request private placement funding or bid for government contracts will be required to obtain a DUNS number, which is free. Finding a company's DUNS number is a very simple process performed on the Dun & Bradstreet website.
Gather contact information regarding the company for which you are seeking the DUNS number. You should have the legal name and address of the company.
Ask the company finance representative if they have a DUNS number and what it is. If you are a legitimate creditor or investor, they should give this information to you.
Search online at the main website of Dun & Bradstreet (see Resources). Locate the "Find A Company" entry on the DUNS Number menu located on the menu bar. Click on this option to get to the search page. Enter the name of the company and (optionally) its home town. A series of companies with similar names will appear.
If all else fails, try the Customer Support number found on the company's website (see Resources).
If you are thinking about partnering with a business or investing capital in the company, you will want to obtain the DUNS number and report to confirm that you know the financial status of the company you are considering.
If another service company advertises searching a DUNS number for you, know that they are accessing the same database described above and charging you an additional fee for their time.