Find a DUNS® number

Duns® Number: The Global Unique Business Identification Number

The DUNS Number is a 9-digit identifier. It was invented and is delivered by our exclusive partner: Dun & Bradstreet. This identifier has many uses, such as to create a company credit file, but also to enter into business relationships with business partners, allowing for legal or financial verifications of their third party customers and suppliers. In more detail, searching for a DUNS number allows you to :

  • Track the activities of a company anywhere in the world
  • Facilitate and make your commercial relations more reliable, by clearly identifying the third party.
  • Easily identify new development opportunities with the information in the D&B database associated with this DUNS number
  • Structure and consolidate your company’s databases around a common repository
  • Ensure compliance with regulations (Know Your Customer or Know Your Supplier)



What is the DUNS® Number?

The DUNS Number was created by our exclusive partner Dun & Bradstreet in the 1960s. The DUNS Number, or “Data Universal Numbering System”, has become the worldwide reference for identifying companies, as can be the SIREN/SIRET for France, and constitutes the pivotal data for their credit evaluation activity. Large national and supranational institutions use it on a daily basis, such as the European Commission, the United Nations or the American government, but also many international groups for whom the DUNS number has become a unique identification data within their customer, supplier or other business partner repository. For example, companies like Google, for the monthly Adwords billing, or Apple for the publication of an application on their store.

At Altares, the DUNS number is one of the pivots to bring risk analysis, compliance, reliability of repository or to conduct Data Science projects at our customers.

What does the DUNS® Number actually do?

The DUNS number is associated with a large amount of essential information on a company, within the largest worldwide database available, with 500 million entities across 220 countries:

  • Its existence, activity status ;
  • Its geographical and contact details;
  • Its legal form;
  • Its workforce;
  • Its 5-year financial history;
  • Its payment behavior;
  • Its capital structure and its Ultimate Beneficial Owner :

The DUNS number allows the link between a parent company and its subsidiaries/branches. Similar to a family tree, companies are ranked from the Global Ultimate Duns (or Family Tree) to the most distant subsidiaries.

Why search for a DUNS®?

This universal registration system is therefore an indispensable source of information, concretely exploitable for :

Structure and make your enterprise data repository more reliable in a consolidated database

Assigning a unique identification number to all your third parties – from prospects to customers to suppliers – is essential to a good Master Data strategy, making these repositories reliable and usable at any time. You can, for example, detect possible duplicates in your databases and eliminate them if necessary, or detect an important change in a third party (cessation of activity, creation/closing of subsidiaries, change of shareholding …). The D-U-N-S® Numberallows you to display the capital or legal links between the different entities in your databases. This will give you a consolidated view of your expenses and/or sales with each of these subsidiaries and will allow you to try to increase your bargaining power.

The “freshness” of the data is essentialfor real-time management of your business relationships. To guarantee this reliability, our partner Dun & Bradstreet spends more than 1 million Euros per day, collecting data from more than 30,000 sources and verifying it in the field with agents around the world.

Identify new development opportunities in an instant

Because the D-U-N-S® Number enables companies to target new market potentials more quickly, for example with subsidiaries of customer groups. To develop internationally, it is important to know reliably the potential new business partners, whether they are customers or potential suppliers. To enter into a business relationship with them, it is essential to have the elements necessary to make a decision: does this customer pay its bills? Is this supplier strong? Is this partner compliant with the LCB-FT or Sapin 2 legislation?

Facilitate and make your business relationships more reliable

If we consider the challenges expressed above, we must not forget that these potential business partners face the same issues and questions. By providing your DUNS number, you will enable them to perform the necessary checks before entering into a business relationship. This is the reason why large international institutions or groups require this data to guarantee their commercial agreement.

Questions about the DUNS® number?

The D-U-N-S® Number is assigned to a company upon request. It is unique and can never be attributed to another company at a later date. The 9 digits that make up the D-U-N-S® Number have no particular meaning, and are randomly assigned at the time of its creation. The D-U-N-S® Number is thus associated with a company’s name, its legal form, the complete address of its headquarters, its legal and financial links and, if available, other data such as the telephone number, the sector of activity, the managers, the brand name, the number of employees or the indicators of default, payment…

In France the creation of a DUNS number is automatic as soon as you have a SIRET number. However, a delay between the creation of your company and the obtaining of your DUNS is necessary. In France, a registered office is defined by a SIREN, and an establishment is defined by a SIRET. Thus, if we take the example of a company in France, it will have, for the same SIREN, several establishments with SIRET, and therefore as many DUNS numbers.

  • If you are already one of our customers, you can request your DUNS number for yourself or one of your affiliated entities directly from our customer service department at no charge. To do so, nothing could be simpler: click here to access a contact form.

In France, the attribution of a DUNS Number is subject to the existence of a SIRET number. A D-U-N-S® Number can thus be assigned to you:

  • Any company belonging to a legal category (SA, SARL, EURL, SAS…)
  • All subsidiaries of the above mentioned companies
  • The liberal professions
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Public or government entities

However, individuals who do not have their own business activity or fixed assets that are not secondary establishments, such as construction sites or distributors, cannot obtain a D-U-N-S® Number.

  • If you simply moveyour company’s headquarters, the D-U-N-S® Number is retained.
  • If your company’s head office moves to the location of one of your branch offices, the D-U-N-S® Number for your head office is retained but the D-U-N-S® Number for the branch office is deleted.
    • If your headquarters move to another country, the D-U-N-S® Number will be deleted and a new one created.


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