How to get a DUNS number: A Step-by-Step Guide for Businesses
DUNS number is a unique identifier of businesses globally. Businesses need to understand the purpose and function of DUNS numbers and how they can impact their ability to do business with other organizations.
If you are a business owner that is ready to put your app on Apple’s App Store, but you run into a problem with getting your DUNS number, don’t worry cause we have got you covered.
In this blog post, we will go step-by-step through how to get your DUNS number. Also, we will cover everything businesses need to know about the DUNS number. This includes its importance and how to use it to improve creditworthiness. So keep on reading.
What is a DUNS number?
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is a well-known business information and credit reporting company. This company has been around for over 180 years. One of the most important products that D&B offers to businesses is the DUNS number. This system of DUNS numbers is made and maintained by Dun & Bradstreet and is used worldwide as a business identifier. It’s a crucial identification number that businesses need to have to secure financing, win government contracts, and establish credibility. It is a widely recognized standard used by businesses, government agencies, and lenders to verify the existence and legitimacy of a business.
A DUNS stands for “Data Universal Numbering System” and is used to identify and track over 300 million businesses globally. The DUNS number consists of nine digits and is free to get.
Obtaining a DUNS number is a relatively straightforward process. Businesses can apply for one online through the Dun & Bradstreet website. Once assigned, the DUNS number remains with the business and is used as a unique identifier throughout the business’s lifespan. Even if the business changes ownership or merges with another company, the DUNS number stays the same.
Who needs a DUNS number?
Businesses that typically need a DUNS number:
- limited partnerships,
- limited liability companies,
- other legal entities that engage in financial transactions with other organizations (such as applying for loans and establishing partnerships).
In addition, some government agencies and educational institutions may also require a DUNS number for verification purposes. It’s important to note that while a DUNS number is not mandatory for all businesses, having one can provide many benefits.
This number is also needed to complete the Apple Developer Enrollment. It is used to check the identity and legal entity status of your organization as part of your enrollment verification process for the Apple Developer Program.
Important: To enroll in the Apple Developer program as a ‘Company/Organization’, your business must be recognized as a legal entity such as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company. This is mandatory for the implementation process. Businesses operating under a DBA, fictitious name, trade name, or branch are not eligible. A DUNS number registered under their legal entity is required for companies and educational institutions. On the other hand, government organizations have the option to provide a DUNS number. If your business is registered as an individual, sole proprietor, or single-person business, you must update your business license accordingly.
Steps to getting your DUNS number
There are a few easy steps to get your DUNS number and be ready for your Apple Development Account:
Check if you already have a DUNS number
Before enrolling in the Apple Developer program, you should check if you already have a DUNS number. It is possible that D&B has already assigned a DUNS number to your organization if it has been recognized as a legal entity. Using the DUNS number lookup tool, you can check if a number has already been assigned to your business.
If you already have a DUNS number, you can proceed with your enrollment process for the Apple Developer program. If your business does not have a DUNS number, you can submit your information to D&B to receive a free DUNS number. By submitting your information, you give Apple permission to provide your business details to D&B.
Applying for DUNS number
It is important to note that when requesting a DUNS number, you will be required to provide specific information about your business:
- Business’s Legal Name
- Headquarters Address
- Postal Address
- Your Contact Details
As a step in the verification process, an agent from D&B may contact you to get more information about your business, such as:
- the type of business,
- number of employees,
- industry classification code or tax identification number.
Make sure to have your business registration documents nearby so you can access them once the agent contacts you.
What to do if you have an Individual Apple Account?
If you previously enrolled in the Apple Developer program as an ‘Individual/Sole Proprietor’, you must contact the D&B team to upgrade your DUNS number’s legal status and update your account. You can contact them through their website or at (855) 444-3091. Keep in mind that it may take up to three weeks for D&B to update your legal status information with Apple. Once your DUNS number has been updated to reflect your legal entity status, you will be able to complete your enrollment in the Apple Developer program as an ‘Organization’.
How long does it take to get a DUNS number?
It typically takes up to 5 working days to receive the DUNS number. If your application takes longer than two weeks to process, you should contact D&B directly.
After receiving a DUNS Number, it will take up to 2 working days for Apple to receive your information from D&B. Once the waiting period is over, you can enroll in the Apple Developer program as a ‘Company/Organization’.
Once you receive your DUNS number, you can use it to create your Apple Developer account.
To create an Apple Developer account, you will need to visit the Apple Developer website and sign up for an account. During the registration process, you will be asked to provide your DUNS number and other information about your business. Once you have completed the registration process and your account has been approved, you will be able to access the Apple Developer platform. Then you can begin building and publishing apps for iOS and other Apple platforms.
Why doesn’t Apple let me have an app store account without a DUNS number?
For several reasons, Apple requires a DUNS number to establish an App Store Organizational account.
Firstly, the DUNS number is a unique identifier for businesses and is a standard for identifying and verifying business information. By requiring a DUNS number, Apple can ensure that businesses provide accurate and reliable information about themselves when they sign up for an App Store account.
Secondly, the DUNS number is used to verify a business’s creditworthiness. This is an important factor for Apple when considering whether to accept an app onto the App Store. Apple wants to ensure that businesses are financially stable and have a good track record of meeting their financial obligations before they allow them to distribute apps on the App Store.
Finally, requiring a DUNS number helps to prevent fraudulent activity on the App Store. By verifying a business’s identity and creditworthiness, Apple can minimize the risk of fraudulent apps being uploaded to the App Store by businesses that are not legitimate.
Benefits of DUNS number
The DUNS number provides several benefits for businesses, including:
- Establishing credibility. Having a DUNS number can help establish credibility for your business, as it is a recognized and widely used identifier by companies and organizations.
- Access to credit and financing. Many financial institutions, such as banks and lenders, use the DUNS number to evaluate a business’s creditworthiness and eligibility for financing.
- Increased visibility. Having a DUNS number can make it easier for other businesses and organizations to find and connect with your business.
- Improved supplier relationships. Some larger companies and government agencies require their suppliers to have a DUNS number. So having one can help improve supplier relationships and increase business opportunities.
- International recognition. The DUNS number is recognized internationally. This makes it useful for businesses looking to expand their operations globally.
Common questions and misconceptions about DUNS numbers
Here are some common questions and misconceptions about DUNS numbers:
Do I have to pay to get a DUNS number?
No, obtaining a DUNS number is free. Dun & Bradstreet, the company that issues DUNS numbers, offers a basic number at no charge. However, they also provide extra services that businesses can pay for, such as credit monitoring and business credit reports.
Is a DUNS number the same as a tax ID number?
No, a DUNS number and a tax ID number are different. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identifier issued by Dun & Bradstreet to identify a business. In contrast, a tax ID number is a unique identifier issued by the IRS for tax purposes.
Is a DUNS number required for all businesses?
No, a DUNS number is not required for all businesses. However, it may be necessary for businesses that want to apply for specific funding or loans.
Can I use someone else’s DUNS number for my business?
No, using someone else’s DUNS number for your business is not allowed. Each business must obtain its own DUNS number to establish its own unique identity.
Does having a DUNS number guarantee that my business will be approved for credit?
No, having a DUNS number does not guarantee that your business will be approved for credit. A DUNS number is simply a unique identifier for your business that lenders and other organizations can use to verify your business’s identity and creditworthiness. Lending decisions are based on various factors, including your business’s credit history, financial stability, and other factors that may impact its ability to repay a loan.
Does a DUNS number expire?
Your Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) number does not have an expiration date, nor does it require renewal.
Does UEI completely replace the DUNS number?
No. Only the US federal government replaced the DUNS number with UEI. This means that since 4th April 2022, any entity that wants to apply for federal contracts or federal funds must have UAE. But, many banks and other moneylenders will still use a DUNS number to determine if your business or organization is suitable for credit or a loan.
What is the difference between the DUNS number and UEI?
DUNS number and UEI (Unique Entity Identifier) are both unique identifiers used to distinguish one business entity from another. However, they are issued by different organizations and serve different purposes.
The DUNS number is widely used by financial institutions, credit bureaus, and government agencies to assess businesses’ creditworthiness and financial stability.
UEI, on the other hand, is a new global identifier system and is primarily used in financial markets to track financial transactions and identify counterparties.
Getting a DUNS number is crucial for businesses that want to establish their credibility and gain access to potential opportunities.
Obtaining a DUNS number is straightforward and involves providing essential information about your business to Dun & Bradstreet. Doing so can gain visibility and make your business more accessible.
Apple requires a DUNS number to establish an App Store account to ensure that businesses provide accurate information. This helps to maintain the integrity and security of the App Store and protect consumers from fraudulent or harmful apps.
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