Risk & Credit

Credit scores and ratings: How to read the Business Credit Scores of Dun & Bradstreet


PAYDEX®, Overall Business Risk, D&B Rating, Failure Score - Dun & Bradstreet delivers predictive and performance-based credit reports to thousands of companies worldwide. They help to get a quick and reliable picture of potential and existing business partners. Which scores are there, how to read them and why they are important? In this article we give you an overview. Would you like to learn more about this topic? Then download our free white paper "How to Read D&B Business Credit Reports".

If you do business with a company, how do you know if you can trust it? Whenever decisions are made, it is important to have the right information at hand - and above all not to get lost in the overwhelming amount of data. Millions of companies generate billions of raw data - from financial reports to payment experiences to social media posts. This is where Dun & Bradstreet scores come in. Thousands of companies worldwide - from small companies to global corporations - rely on the Business Credit Reports from D&B. They compress the raw data into very specific, concrete and easily understandable statements. You are dependent on them, because you don't have time to view endless raw data and make half-hearted predictions from it.

The thorough examination - the beginning of a long business relationship

Every business relationship begins with a review of the new business partner. After all, you don't want to get involved with bad payers who are jeopardising your cash flow and thus your financial strength. So you are consulting credit reports. They bring you basic information and company details that you need for an initial examination.

However, credit reports contain even more, namely forecast and performance scores. So they both look back into the past and show how reliably someone pays their invoices. But they also look ahead and give a well-founded assessment of how financially stable the future will be.

To make the right decisions, you need to understand the different scores and analytics in detail - and above all how they complement each other and provide a complete picture of how likely your business partner is to meet its payment obligations. D&B's predictive and performance-based scores show easily, quickly, and clearly the corporate payment history and how it fulfils its obligations. You are thus in a position to minimise risks, exploit potential and - to put it in a nutshell - make more intelligent credit decisions.

Business Credit Reports from Dun & Bradstreet

Now let's focus on the individual scores and what they say. From D&B's point of view, the key indicators for Switzerland are the company profile, D&B Rating, Failure Score, PAYDEX® and Overall Business Risk .

If you would like to gain a detailed insight, please download our white paper "How to Read D&B Business Credit Reports” free of charge.

We will give you a quick and compact overview here in the next chapters. The scores and ratings all make a very specific statement. In total, they give you all the information you need to make the right credit decisions.

Company Profile

The Company Profile shows you the company details to each supplier or buyer you check. Here you will find contact information, company history, hierarchy, industry, and much more. 

D&B Rating

The D&B Rating is the measurement system developed by Dun & Bradstreet itself.  It gives an overview of the financial strength and size of the company. The rating is based on factors such as payment performance, public documents and company age.

Failure Score

Failure Score - also known as the Financial Stress Score - predicts the likelihood that a company will cease operations or go bankrupt in the next 12 months without repaying its debt. D&B makes a comment on each company you test that explains the assessment. 


PAYDEX® is one of the most important scores in the D&B universe. It collects globally payment experiences and analyses the payment performance of companies. Or to say it in simple words: It says whether a company pays its invoices on time or not. 

Overall Business Risk

The Overall Business Risk helps to accurately assess risks and make the right credit decisions. In this way you avoid loss and at the same time skim off slumbering potentials. The Overall Business Risk consists of two components:

  1. Aggregated risk assessment
  2. D&B credit recommendation
Download our free white paper

Download our free white paper

For a full understanding of D&B Business Credit Reports, please download our white paper. You will find the scores described in detail - including screenshots.

Download Whitepaper now