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EIN vs. Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number

What’s the difference between your EIN and your D‑U‑N‑S® Number? Knowing can help you grow your business.

Business owners often confuse an EIN with a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number because they are both 9-digit numbers that help identify a business. Both numbers can also be obtained for free. One of the differences between the two is that a D-U-N-S Number is affiliated with a company’s business credit report, 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; D-U-N-S Numbers are issued by Dun & Bradstreet for business credit reporting purposes.

Business owners often confuse an EIN with a D-U-N-S Number because they are both 9-digit numbers that identify a business.
Amber Colley, Business Credit Expert and Director

What a D-U-N-S Number Can Do for Your Business

You monitor and build your personal credit, so why wouldn’t you monitor and build your business credit? Unfortunately, many business owners don’t pay attention to their business credit scores and ratings, and this may not do them any favors. Getting a D-U-N-S Number to create your business credit file is the first step in building your business credit, which is a tool you can leverage to help you get loans, contracts, and more. Check out how getting a D-U-N-S Number can benefit manufacturerssuppliers, and construction business owners:


The D-U-N-S Number for Manufacturers

Since manufacturers work with other businesses, it can be important for them to convey their credibility to partners and potential partners. Manufacturers can benefit from building their business credit 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 get good terms. If a manufacturer has an incomplete business credit report or has inaccurate information, they may not get the best terms or conditions (this can be true of banks loans as well).
  • Manufacturers may be able to help grow their business by winning more contracts or getting funding, and they can use their solid business credit report to help accomplish that. 

The D-U-N-S Number for Suppliers

Suppliers can benefit from having a D-U-N-S Number in many of the same ways that manufacturers can. Suppliers sell goods to wholesalers and retailers, government agencies, and other companies. The benefits of building business credit with 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. Walmart 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 some retailers may require.
  • Even companies that don’t require a specific supplier score may still be using suppliers’ business credit reports to help them make decisions.
  • A strong business credit profile may potentially help you get loans, which you may need in order to land or fulfill a contract. If you need funding in order to deliver on contracts with big-box retailers or government agencies, having a strong business credit report can help you look credible to banks and other lenders.

The D-U-N-S Number for Construction Companies

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

  • Since construction business owners make money by contracting with other organizations or individuals 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 scores and ratings can help convey reliability.
  • Construction business owners may also need funding to deliver on 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 a loan. To get started building your business credit right away,apply for an expedited D-U-N-S Number (you can get one expedited for free if you’re a government contractor) and receive one in just five days, or go the standard route and receive one for free in up to 30 business days.

Already have a D-U-N-S Number and ready to start impacting your business credit scores and ratings? Use CreditBuilder Plus to submit payment experiences to Dun & Bradstreet so you can help influence your report.*

*Trade References will be added subject to Dun & Bradstreet verification and acceptance. Trade References are counted as fulfilled when a qualified reference is successfully added to your report. Please see http://www.dandb.com/glossary/trade-references for eligibility, process, and other information regarding Trade References.


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