DUNS number: The unique, worldwide business identification number

Numéro DUNS

The DUNS consists of nine digits and is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. It can be used to create a credit file, which businesses often need in the context of their commercial partnerships, in particular to carry out statutory and financial checks on their customers and suppliers.


A brief history

Created by Dun & Bradstreet in 1963, as part of their credit assessment activities, the DUNS (for Data Universal Numbering System) number is now used worldwide. Users include the European Commission, United Nations and the US government, while numerous international groups use it daily as the sole identification number in their customer, supplier or other business partner databases.

A DUNS number is, notably, required by companies such as Google for monthly invoicing for Adwords, and by Apple. At Altares, the DUNS number is one of the pivotal pieces of data used for risk analyses or data science projects.

Which type of companies are involved?

They include:

  • Public and private limited companies, one-person companies, etc.
  • All subsidiaries of the companies listed above
  • Independent professionals
  • Not-for-profit organisations
  • Public-sector and government organisations

Why do I need a DUNS number?

Your company file is created as soon as Dun & Bradstreet assigns you a DUNS number. This allows partners and potential lenders to find out more about your business and its financial health. Used all over the world, it offers the businesses that have it numerous advantages.

In practice, the credit file associated with your company’s DUNS number can help your partners to get information about your business, so that they can make informed decisions about a possible relationship with you (as a customer, supplier or business partner). Among other things, it can make it easier to negotiate contractual terms and conditions if your business is in excellent financial health.

Practical example:

When businesses whose registered offices are in two different countries are entering into a partnership, the DUNS number helps avoid any confusion arising from different national identifiers, such as SIREN or SIRET numbers in France, the VAT number in the UK or the NIF or CIF number in Spain… In fact, if part of a business is abroad, its national identification number is of no help at the international level. Using a DUNS number means you can see a group’s entire organisational structure.


How do I get my DUNS number?

A DUNS number is automatically created if you have a SIRET number. Nonetheless, there is a period of time between setting up your business and getting your DUNS number. A French business that has several sites under the same SIREN will therefore have as many DUNS numbers as it does SIRET numbers. In France, a registered office is identified by a SIREN number and other sites by a SIRET number.

Manageo, an Altares Group company, is the only organisation in France that can issue you with a DUNS number. Creating a DUNS number takes one to two months. If your number already exists, you can get it within 24 to 48 hours.


Do you have a data project?

Contact us