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Number Guide for Government Contractors and Grantees: DUNS®

This publication focuses on how to obtain a DUNS® Number, which is free, by providing registration information by phone or on the web. Contractors and grantees, especially new ones, will find this helpful as a means of being identified through their business entities and locations.

About the DUNS® Number

Created in 1962, the Data Universal Numbering System or DUNS® Number is D&B's copyrighted, proprietary means of identifying business entities on a location-specific basis. Assigned and maintained solely by D&B, this unique nine-digit identification code has been assigned to over 84 million businesses worldwide.

DUNS® Number remains with the company location to which it has been assigned even if it closes or goes out-of-business. The DUNS® Number also "unlocks" a wealth of value-added data associated with that entity, including the business name, physical and mailing addresses, trade styles ("doing business as"), principal names, financial, payment experiences, industry classifications (SIC' s and NAICS), socio-economic status, government data and more. The DUNS® Number also links members of corporate family trees worldwide. The DUNS® Number is widely used by both commercial and federal entities and was adopted as the standard business identifier for federal electronic commerce in October 1994. The DUNS Number® was also incorporated into the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in April 1998 as the Federal Government's contractor identification code for all procurement-related activities.

D&B offers two options for obtaining a DUNS® Number:

1.Web Registration

Please log onto http://ccr.dnb.com/ccr/pages/CCRSearch.jsp and provide the requested information about your business or organization. Within 48 hours, D&B will contact you via electronic mail with your DUNS Number.


Please contact D&B's Federal Government DUNS® Number request line at 866.705.5711

The process to request a DUNS® Number by telephone takes between five and 10 minutes. You will need to provide the following data elements to obtain a DUNS® Number.

  • Legal Name
  • Tradestyle, Doing Business As (DBA), or other name by which your organization is commonly recognized
  • Physical Address, City, State and Zip Code
  • Mailing Address (if separate)
  • Telephone Number
  • Contact Name
  • SIC Code (Line of Business)
  • Number of Employees at your location
  • Headquarters name and address (if there is a reporting relationship to a parent corporate entity)

Please Note: 

As a result of obtaining a DUNS® number you might be included on D&B's marketing list that is sold to other companies. If you do not want your name/company included on this marketing list, please request to be de-listed from D&B's marketing file.© 2004 D&B, Inc.

Topic:Fiscal Management

Keywords:Grant applications

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: November 2, 2017