The Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. This number is assigned once our patented identity resolution process, part of our DUNSRight methodology, identifies a company as being unique from any other in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud. The D‑U‑N‑S Number is used as the starting point for any company’s Live Business Identity, the most comprehensive and continually updated view of any company in the Data Cloud.
D‑U‑N‑S Numbers are often referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and/or financial stability of the company in question. D‑U‑N‑S, which stands for data universal numbering system, is used to maintain up-to-date and timely information on more than 330 million global businesses. The D‑U‑N‑S Number also enables identification of relationships between corporate entities (hierarchies and linkages), another key element of Live Business Identity and commercial risk assessment practices.
Why Do I Need a D‑U‑N‑S Number?
The D‑U‑N‑S Number is used around the world to identify and access information on businesses. A D‑U‑N‑S Number identifies a company’s Dun & Bradstreet 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. Taken all together, this profile of information is called the Dun & Bradstreet Live Business Identity. Potential partners and lenders can request a business credit report about your business using your D‑U‑N‑S Number or other business identifiers. Equally, you can use the D‑U‑N‑S Number to access the same information about any company with which you might wish to work.
Because of its universal recognition and unique assignment, the D‑U‑N‑S Number can also serve as a primary data key within an organization’s Master Data Management architecture. In this manner, the D‑U‑N‑S Number (and the connected Live Business Identity data), enables a single source of truth in the capture and storage of information related to a company’s customers, partners, and suppliers.
Consider Dun & Bradstreet’s unique Live Business Identity a dynamic descriptor of nearly every business on Earth, enabling reciprocal business relationship insight. The information in your Dun & Bradstreet credit report comes from the Live Business Identity of your company, enabling informed decisions about whether or not to work with your company and to what extent or under what terms.
What Is Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)?
Dun & Bradstreet is a corporation that offers information on commercial credit as well as reports on businesses. Most notably, Dun & Bradstreet is recognizable for its Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS numbers); these generate business information reports for more than 100 million companies around the globe. Dun & Bradstreet was established as the result of a merger in the 1930s between R.G. Dun & Co. and the Bradstreet Cos.
- Dun & Bradstreet, or D&B, is a company providing corporate analysis, insights, and analytics for businesses.
- The company has revenues of over $1 billion USD.
- D&B has a worldwide presence, doing business in various overseas markets.
Understanding Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)
Dun & Bradstreet has been a foundation for the way businesses function for more than 160 years. The company’s revolutionary DUNS numbers are intricately linked to the categorization of businesses around the world. Dun & Bradstreet offers a number of other products and services and has continued to expand since its founding.
In 2019, Dun & Bradstreet was purchased from the public and became a privately held company. It’s stock ticker, DNB, was retired.
As of early 2020, it was a global operator with more than 200 offices globally, including Europe and Latin America. While the majority of Dun & Bradstreet’s products remain in print, the technological age has pushed the company’s products and services onto the internet and beyond.
The History of Dun & Bradstreet
The formation of this company can be linked back to 1841 when Lewis Tappan established the Mercantile Agency in New York City. Tappan handed the reins of the company to Benjamin Douglass in the latter part of the decade. The company was reincorporated under the name R.G. Dun & Co. in 1859 when Robert Graham Dun purchased it. In 1931, the company purchased the National Credit Office and was reorganized, becoming R.G. Dun & Corp.
John Bradstreet formulated and established the Bradstreet Co. in Cincinnati in 1849. The firm published the first-ever book of commercial ratings a few years later, in 1851, and made the use of credit ratings popular. Bradstreet moved his company to New York in 1855.
In 1933, negotiations between the two companies began over the idea of a merger. After one month of discussions, the merger took place. The Wall Street Journal published a notification of the merger and indicated the newly formed company would be operating under the name R.G. Dun-Bradstreet, changed to Dun & Bradstreet Inc. in 1939. As part of a rebranding campaign, the company officially changed its name to D&B in 2001.
Data Universal Numbering System
The DUNS numbering system was introduced by the company in 1963 and started as a seven-digit code assigned to companies as a form of classification. In 1964, D&B published a codebook with the individual codes of all the companies that had received them and continued this until 1968. These numbers made an appearance, for the first time, in the Million Dollar Directory in 1969.
The DUNS system is composed of nine digits and is assigned to every business location in the D&B database. Each of the digits has a unique and distinct operation that identifies each specific business. The number itself is assigned randomly.
The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation is a company that provides commercial data, analytics, and insights for businesses. It is headquartered in Short Hills, a community in Millburn, New Jersey, U.S. The company offers a wide range of products and services for risk and finance, operations and supply, and sales and marketing professionals, as well as research and insights on global business issues, serving customers in government and industries such as communications, technology, strategic financial services, and retail/telecommunications/manufacturing markets. Often referred to as D&B, the company’s database contains more than 300 million business records worldwide.
- 3Products and services
- 4See also
- 6External links
Dun & Bradstreet traces its history back to July 20, 1841, with the formation of The Mercantile Agency in New York City by Lewis Tappan, later called R.G. Dun & Company. Recognizing the need for a centralized credit reporting system, Tappan formed the company to create a network of correspondents who would provide reliable, objective credit information to subscribers. As an advocate for civil rights, Tappan used his abolitionist connections to expand and update the company’s credit information.
In spite of accusations of invading personal privacy, by 1844 the Mercantile Agency had over 280 clients. The agency continued to expand, allowing offices to open in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. By 1849, Tappan retired, allowing Benjamin Douglass to take over the booming business.
In 1859, Douglass transferred the company to Robert Graham Dun, who immediately changed the firm’s name to R.G. Dun & Company. Over the next 40 years, Graham Dun continued to expand the business across international boundaries.
In 1933, Dun merged with competitor John M. Bradstreet to form today’s Dun & Bradstreet. The merger was engineered by Dun’s CEO, Arthur Whiteside. Whiteside’s successor, J. Wilson Newman, worked to increase Dun’s range of products and services and expanded dramatically during the 1960s by engineering ways to apply new technologies to evolving operations.
In 1996, the company tri-vested, creating three entities: D&B Companies, Nielsen, and the Cognizant Corporation. Cognizant Corporation included Nielsen TV Ratings, Gartner Group, Clarke-O’Neill, Erisco, and several other lesser known entities. In 1999, Cognizant Corporation spun off Nielsen TV Ratings and shortly thereafter divested all its holdings, emerging as IMS Health. IMS Health continued to hold its prize incubator company that is today known as Cognizant Corporation. Moody’s, a credit reporting agency, was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet in 1962. In 1986, Dun & Bradstreet acquired the education data company Market Data Retrieval (MDR).
On February 5, 2003, Dun & Bradstreet restated prior period results to correct timing errors in the recognition of some of the revenue associated with 14 of the Company’s 200+ products, after a review of its revenue recognition from 1997 through 2002. In August 2010, Dun & Bradstreet spun off and sold its credit monitoring and management business to a newly formed company, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. In 2007, Dun & Bradstreet acquired AllBusiness.com and sold the company in 2012.
In October 2013, Bob Carrigan became the CEO of Dun & Bradstreet.
On January 5, 2015, Dun & Bradstreet acquired the data management firm NetProspex. In April 2015, Dun & Bradstreet acquired Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and announced the formation of a new division, Dun & Bradstreet Emerging Business. In January 2017, Dun & Bradstreet acquired Avention, the maker of OneSource solutions.
On August 8, 2018, Dun & Bradstreet announced Thomas J. Manning, who had served as the company’s interim CEO, as the new Chief Executive Officer, and that the company had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by CC Capital, Cannae Holdings, and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
On February 8, 2019, the investor group completed the acquisition of Dun & Bradstreet and it became a privately held company. Its former ticker symbol, DNB, was retired.
On July 1, 2020, Dun & Bradstreet re-listed shares on the New York Stock Exchange, once again trading under the ticker symbol DNB.
The company generates revenue through subscription-based products, business information reports, data licensing agreements, strategic partnerships, and concierge services.
The company derives revenues through two segments: Americas and non-Americas.
Americas consists of:
- United States and Canada
- (The company divested its Latin America operations in September 2016)
And non-Americas consists of:
- The United Kingdom
- Greater China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan?)
- (Netherlands and Belgium operations were divested in November 2016)
- (Australian and New Zealand operations were divested in June 2015 to Archer Capital for $169.8 million and were rebranded as illion in 2018, with debt collection operations being formally rebranded as Milton Graham on 14 June 2018)