Learn Why Your Globally Respected D-U-N-S® Number Remains So Important


How the D-U-N-S® Number and the U.S. GSA Changes Are Working Together

On April 4, 2022, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) transitioned to a new process for identifying businesses bidding on U.S. government contracts and applying for financial assistance. Through its System for Award Management (SAM.gov), potential contractors will request and be assigned a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) for federal contract awards, which the government will use to verify organizations within internal operating systems. 

While this change may impact one of the many ways you could be accustomed to utilizing your business’ D-U-N-S Number — your D-U-N-S Number, your business credit file associated with your D-U-N-S Number, and the worldwide usage of the D-U-N-S Number is not changing because of the GSA’s internal process changes. 

To ensure that data integrity remains intact, we are working to ensure that data collected from businesses after the UEI transition will continue to be accessible through the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud, when associated with a company that has a D-U-N-S Number. Our technologists and analytics experts built additional capability within our solutions that will allow clients to look up an entity by either the D-U-N-S Number, company name, or their UEI.

The D-U-N-S Number is a globally respected live business identity attached to a business’s credit file, and is used by 90% of Fortune 500 companies, so many public and private entities will continue to rely upon it. The D-U-N-S Number has been, and continues to be, recognized for being extremely reliable because of Dun & Bradstreet’s rigorous data governance, data management, and the deep collection of business attributes and behavioral signals Dun & Bradstreet has cultivated since the early 1800’s.   

Dun & Bradstreet hosts business credit file information on over 460 million global businesses, so many government agencies will continue to look to Dun & Bradstreet to provide the information and actionable insights about businesses of all sizes following the D-U-N-S Number / UEI transition.  Government agencies need this Dun & Bradstreet information to make mission-critical decisions such as helping to protect our supply chain, the U.S. government’s operations, and policy objectives.

One of the goals that government entities and most successful businesses have when utilizing these identifiers, (the D-U-N-S Number or the UEI), is to exercise due diligence when seeking to select suppliers that are financially stable, compliant, and now, more than ever, socially responsible, to mitigate as much risk and fraudulent activity as possible.

Recognizing that any transition has a learning curve, Dun & Bradstreet is ready to help answer any of your questions."If you have a D-U-N-S Number and still need information on how to work with the federal government, visit here.

General Questions

  • DUNS, which stands for Data Universal Numbering System, is used to maintain up-to-date and timely information on over 460M businesses globally. 

  • The D-U-N-S Number is one of the first steps in helping to separate your personal credit ratings from your business credit ratings. Separating your business credit ratings from your personal credit ratings may help to reduce your personal liability and could help you begin to potentially build your company’s credibility. In addition, the D-U-N-S Number is used around the world by government agencies, financial institutions, and private sector companies to evaluate the financial health of suppliers, potential customers, and partners, prior to doing business with them.

  • The D-U-N-S Number can be the gateway to helping you:

    • Seek to manage your business profile, which can be viewed by potential customers, lenders, and partners
    • Monitor your business credit score and activity
    • Detect fraudulent activity
  • Dun & Bradstreet hosts a Data Cloud of over 460M global businesses – each with their own D-U-N-S Number. By tapping into this data cloud, you can:

    • Leverage your business profile, and the credit scores and activity within it, as part of various application processes, or to raise capital, to refinance existing loans, or when seeking additional funding either privately or, through government sponsored programs
    • Combine your own customer data with Dun & Bradstreet’s business insights to target prospective buyers and build personalized advertising campaigns
    • Identify opportunities to expand your business
  • Any business can apply for a FREE D-U-N-S Number by starting the process here.

    To receive a FREE D-U-N-S Number, complete the online application. Any business can review, dispute and request updates to basic information in their existing business credit profile for FREE with D-U-N-S® Manager. Submissions for disputes and requests for updates are subject to verification.

    Keep in mind: Companies can still register for a FREE D-U-N-S Number; it’s just that getting a D-U-N-S will no longer be part of the SAM.gov registration process. Please go to this website: https://sam.gov/content/home to begin the new government UEI registration process after Monday, April 4, 2022.

  • Yes. During the D-U-N-S application process, you can choose to pay for an expedited D-U-N-S Number, which would be delivered to you in up to 8 business days. You no longer need a D-U-N-S to register in SAM.gov, however, if you are interested in purchasing the expedited D-U-N-S Number, you can start the process here

  • On April 4, 2022, the unique entity identifier used across the GSA changed from the D-U-N-S Number to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), which is generated by the Federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov).  As part of this transition, the D-U-N-S Number was removed from SAM.gov

  • The Unique Entity ID is issued in SAM.gov once your entity is confirmed as “unique”.  The uniqueness of an entity is based on being a separate legal entity with a separate physical address.  After obtaining your UEI, you can then choose to complete a full registration in SAM.gov which, in addition to your business name and address, collects several self-certified attributes and government required representations and certifications.

    The DUNS Number is used to maintain up-to-date and timely information on your business and identifies your business credit file, which may include firmographic data (company name, address, phone number, etc.), corporate family relationships (headquarters, branches, subsidiaries, etc.), and scores and ratings that assess different financial health indicators.

    Having a D-U-N-S Number in addition to your UEI creates a comprehensive view of your business.  This allows commercial entities looking for partners or subs and government agencies looking to award work to confirm that you are financially stable, compliant, and now, more than ever, socially responsible.

    Numerous government agencies continue to use the D-U-N-S Number and Dun & Bradstreet analytic insights to build sustainable communities, protect their supply chains and optimize government operations.