The Pros & Cons of Buying D&B Services
When considering how to get a DUNS number, you can obtain the free one that will work fine for you, especially with government agencies as it’s really only the number they want, not your company’s financials or credit history.
Other companies, however, like some vendors may want you to purchase Dun & Bradstreet tools so that you can offer reports showing credit history, owner information, tax ID numbers, and financial information. In today’s small business world, the reality of establishing business with a large vendor often means company officers must sign personal guarantees, so it does give one pause as why a copy of the company’s credit history would even matter.
If you do subscribe to Dun & Bradstreet’s tools to help establish your business (they will call or email you annually to update your information and you are required to submit financials), then you may win the services of the vendor or supplier you want. As far as sales and marketing tools, I would suggest looking at some customer resource management (CRM) software; many of the products on today’s market offer a lot more for a much lower price.
On the other side of the coin, if you want to gain the business or services of any company and they tell you they need the credit information from Dun & Bradstreet, not just the DUNS number, why don’t they pay the $40 to $200 to get the report on their own, especially if you plan to spend a lot of money with them.
In the small business world, when owners wonder how do I get a DUNS number, it’s easy, it’s free, and if you can bear the sales pressure pitch, you can get one in about six weeks. The companies and governments that require a DUNS number do so because of standards they set when their companies are established. If you can’t do business with one because you’re not a subscriber of Dun & Bradstreet services, find another company that will deal with your business. Keep in mind that government agencies do not require that you subscribe to Dun & Bradstreet services and only want the number, so skip the offerings if you can.