EIN vs. D&B D-U-N-S Number: How You Can Benefit From Both

Knowing the difference between your EIN and your D&B D-U-N-S® Number can help you know when to use which for your business.

One possible reason business owners confuse an EIN with a D-U-N-S Number is because they are both 9-digit numbers that identify a business. They are also both free numbers that can act in much the same fashion as social security number can do for an individual. One of the differences between the two is that a D-U-N-S Number is affiliated with a company’s business credit profile, and an EIN is not. You are not issued a D-U-N-S Number when you apply for an EIN because EINs are issued by the IRS for tax purposes and D-U-N-S Numbers are issued by Dun & Bradstreet, for credit reporting purposes.

One possible reason business owners confuse an EIN with a D-U-N-S Number is because they are both 9-digit numbers that identify a business. They are also both free numbers that can act in much the same fashion as social security number can do for an individual.
Amber Colley, Business Credit Expert and Director

How a D-U-N-S Number Can Help

Monitoring your business credit may seem like a no-brainer – you monitor your personal credit, right? – but many business owners don’t pay attention to their business credit. Getting a D-U-N-S Number to connect your business to its credit profile is the first step in monitoring your business credit – which may help you get loans, contracts and more. Don’t know if you need a D-U-N-S Number yet? Check out how getting one may benefit manufacturers, suppliers and construction business owners:

Manufacturers

Since Manufacturers work with other businesses, it can be important that they convey their credibility to partners and potential partners. Manufacturers can benefit from monitoring their business credit profile because:

  • They make goods for other companies and will be counted on by those companies to deliver what they have promised. A good business credit profile can help convey a manufacturer’s capabilities to a potential partner.
  • When signing contracts with other businesses, manufacturers will want to know they are getting good terms. If a manufacturer has an incomplete or inaccurate business credit profile, they may not get the best terms in a contract.
  • With a solid credit profile, manufacturers may be able to grow their business and potentially win more contracts.

Suppliers

In many of the same ways that manufacturers can benefit from having a D-U-N-S Number, suppliers can benefit as well. Suppliers sell goods to wholesalers and retailers, government agencies, and other companies. The benefits of a D-U-N-S Number can be huge for suppliers:

  • Many retailers, especially big-box retailers, require their suppliers to have a D-U-N-S Number. Wal-Mart is a good example. Monitoring your business credit profile and keeping it up-to-date may help you influence your supplier score to match what retailers may require.
  • Even companies that don’t require a specific supplier score may still be making decisions about suppliers based on their business credit profile.
  • A strong business credit profile can potentially help you get loans, which you may need in order to land or fulfill a certain contract. If you need access to capital in order to deliver on contracts with big-box retailers or large government agencies, then having a strong credit profile can help you look credible to banks and other lenders.

Construction Companies

Construction business owners can benefit from having a D-U-N-S Number, too, and much like suppliers, contractors can benefit from monitoring their business credit profile:

  • Since construction business owners make money by contracting with another organization or individual for services rather than goods, their credibility can influence how they are perceived by potential partners. The organization or individual hiring the construction company will want a reliable business, and good business credit can help convey the business’s reliability.
  • Construction business owners may also need access to capital to deliver on their contracts. In construction, things can change quickly, and strong business credit may help you get loans so you can make deadlines, buy necessary supplies, and pay workers on time.

A D-U-N-S Number can benefit all types of businesses, especially B2B businesses or companies looking for access to capital. To get started managing your business credit right away, apply for an expedited D-U-N-S number and receive one in just five days, or go the standard route and receive one for free in up to 30 days.

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