How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number


How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number



What is a DUNS number?

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

View Your DUNS Number Now

Sign up for a free Nav account. After signing up you will find it in your D&B business credit report. Checking won’t hurt your credit scores.

Just as your social security number reveals a lot about you—your bank account, tax returns, credit score, residences, etc., your DUNS number reveals similar information about your business.

How can a D-U-N-S number help me?

Here are 4 ways a DUNS number can help you:

  1. Establish business creditworthiness. Your DUNS number is directly tied to the credit profile D&B builds on your business. In fact, to even have a D&B PAYDEX score, (you can check yours with Nav) you’ll need a DUNS number. When vendors or suppliers look up your business credit profile because they are considering doing business with you and offering your business trade credit, or a lender who is considering lending to your business, they’ll want to see a credit history. Keep in mind that your credit profile won’t be much use to you (and can actually harm you) until you begin establishing a strong business credit history.
  2. Safeguard your personal creditworthiness. When you don’t have a DUNS number tied to your business credit profile, you’ll need to depend more on your personal credit for business purposes. This can harm your personal credit if you make late payments or keep high amounts of business debt.
  3. Bid on government contracts. Local, state, and federal contracting opportunities will likely require your business to have a DUNS number. Any contracting opportunity in the System for Award Management (SAM) will require a DUNS number to apply.
  4. Get longer terms with your suppliers. If you can prove to vendors and suppliers that you are a creditworthy business, they will be more likely to offer you longer trade terms, like net-30 or even net-90 day terms. The best way to do this is by establishing business credit history tied to your DUNS number.

SAM Registration

In addition to a DUNS number, if your business or organization wants to do any business with any government agency, you must register in the System for Award Management (SAM) and renew every year. The federal government offers contracts every year to registered small businesses in every industry and SAM registration is required to service any federal contract.

Your SAM application will be processed within 5 business days, but it can take up to 25 business days for your application to be approved. There are multiple government agencies that are involved. The renewal for your SAM application and CAGE Code registration renewal happens 3 months before the expiration date.

Who is Dun & Bradstreet?

Your DUNS number only reveals credit information gathered by one credit bureau—Dun & Bradstreet. Originally known as the Mercantile Agency, Dun & Bradstreet is one of America’s oldest companies. Its founder, Lewis Tappan, created it in 1841 for the purpose of helping merchants establish the creditworthiness of potential customers.

Today, Dun & Bradstreet keeps track of over 265 million businesses worldwide. Over 100 million of those businesses have been assigned a DUNS number. The federal government adopted the DUNS number as its principal business identifier in 1994.

In 1998, the DUNS number was incorporated as the federal government’s contractor identification code. This means that companies without a DUNS number cannot do business with the federal government. This makes a DUNS number invaluable for many small businesses, since government contracts are often stable, lucrative sources of income.

Is a DUNS number the same as a Federal tax ID number?

A DUNS number is different from your federal tax ID (EIN) number. A DUNS number is used for business credit reporting purposes, whereas an EIN is issued by the IRS and used for tax identification purposes.

How do I look up my DUNS number?

Before you apply for a DUNS number, check to see if your business already has one. If you are a Nav customer, you can do this via the BusinessLauncher tool in your profile. Here, you’ll be connected to a lookup tool that search for your business using either your company name and address, or your company’s telephone number.

How to get a DUNS number

Apply here to get a DUNS number. Once you’ve applied, you’ll likely get a call from a D&B representative to help you through the process, and you’ll receive your DUNS number within 30 days. For quicker service, you can use DUNSFile to get it in less than five business days, but it will cost you $229.

Applying for a DUNS number is a simple process, but it does require you to first establish your business as a legal entity (LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, etc) with your state. Inside the application, you’ll need to provide information like your legal name, the name of your business’ headquarters and address of your business, your telephone number, whether you’re a home-based business, and the number of employees at your physical location.

If you want your number fast, you can use the DUNSFile service to get it in less than five business days, but it will cost you $229.

The more you learn about business financing—including the importance of business credit cards and business tradelines and how reporting to the business credit bureaus is a key factor to the growth of your company—the more your DUNS number will work in your favor.

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

24/7 business and personal credit alerts

Nav is the ONLY source for both personal and business credit scores. Get alerts, advice and monitoring today.

This article was updated on 02/15/18

Additional Business Credit Resources:

This article was originally written on February 15, 2018 and updated on January 27, 2021.

Rate This Article

This article currently has 146 ratings with an average of 4.5 stars.


Jamison is a content writer for Nav, the free site giving business owners access to their business and personal credit scores, and tools that match them to the best financing and services. Along with the intricacies of entrepreneurship and small business, his interests include philosophy, literature and history.

  • About NRCS
  • |
  • Careers
  • |
  • National Centers
  • |
  • State Websites
  • Browse By Audience
  • |
  • A-Z Index
  • |
  • Help

/ How to Get a DUNS Number and Register with SAM

How to Get a DUNS Number and Register with SAM


How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

NRCS does enter into Federal contracts, grants, and agreements with parties that are not landowners or producers. These customers continue to be subject to the DUNS and SAM registration and reporting requirements. The exemption does not apply to any current or future agreements or federal contracts with eligible entities, project sponsors, vendors, partners, or other non-exempt landowners or producers.

Who Needs a DUNS Number?

If you are entering into a cooperative, contribution, interagency, partnership agreement, a federal contract, or grant agreement with NRCS and you use an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also referred to as a Tax Identification Number (TIN), you will need a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). These entities must register with SAM to receive payments. If you enter into the contract, agreement, or grant with NRCS as an individual person and use your social security number as your TIN, you DO NOT need to obtain a DUNS number or SAM registration What Are DUNS and SAM?

A DUNS number is a unique nine-character identification number Dun & Bradstreet provides free of charge.

The System for Award Management (SAM) is the Official U.S. Government system that consolidates the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Federal Contract Registry (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).

Business entities that have obtained a DUNS number must register annually on SAM to be eligible to receive financial assistance.

There is NO charge to register or maintain your entity registration record in SAM.

Step 1: Obtain a DUNS Number

Your entity may obtain a DUNS number in two ways:

By Toll-Free Telephone

Business entities may request the DUNS number by calling a toll-free telephone number: 1-(866) 705-5711. Tell the operator that you are applying to a Federal financial assistance program and need to register for a DUNS number.

Over The Web

Business entities can also obtain a DUNS number through D&B’s Web site at:

To complete the process to obtain a DUNS number, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Legal name of your business entity
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Name of the CEO or business owner
  • Legal structure or type of business (corporation, partnership, proprietorship, etc.)
  • Year the entity was created
  • Primary line of business
  • Total number of employees (full- and part-time)

Note: Obtaining a DUNS number places your organization on D&B’s marketing list that is sold to other companies. You can request not to be added to this list during your application. D&B should not charge you a fee for requesting a DUNS number. You are also not obligated to purchase any of their products as a condition to obtain DUNS. It may take 2 -3 days for you to obtain a DUNS number.

A Frequently Asked Questions about DUNS is available at:

Step 2: Register on

Once you have been assigned a DUNS number, you must annually register on to remain eligible to receive program financial assistance. To complete the process on SAM, you will need the same kind of information used to obtain your DUNS number as well as your Tax Identification Number (TIN) and other data to complete registration and reporting requirements.

If your organization has the necessary information ready, online registration will take about 30 minutes to complete, depending upon the size and complexity of your business entity. It may take 3 business days or up to 2 weeks before your SAM registration becomes active.

If you are updating or renewing your registration information it will take approximately 24 hours to become active.

Grant Applications

Applicant Resources

Step 1: Obtain a DUNS Number

Obtaining a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number is the first step in registering as an organization applicant in The instructions below describe DUNS and walk through the process of acquiring a free DUNS number.

Purpose of DUNS

A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify your organization. The federal government uses the DUNS number to track how federal money is allocated.

Before Registering for a DUNS Number

Does my organization already have a DUNS number? Most large organizations, libraries, colleges, and research universities already have a DUNS number. You should contact your grant administrator, financial department, chief financial officer, or authorizing official to identify your organization’s DUNS number.

How to Register for a DUNS Number

If your organization does not yet have a DUNS number, or no one knows it, visit the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) website or call 1-866-705-5711 to register or search for a DUNS number.

Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge, so if you encounter any organizations or websites soliciting a fee or charge to acquire a DUNS number it is likely a scam or fraudulent.

You will need all of the information listed below to obtain a DUNS number:

  • Name of organization
  • Organization address
  • Name of the chief executive officer (CEO) or organization owner
  • Legal structure of the organization (e.g., corporation, partnership, proprietorship)
  • Year the organization started
  • Primary type of business
  • Total number of employees (full and part-time)

NOTE: At some point, the DUNS Number will be replaced by a “new, non-proprietary identifier” requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management ( This new identifier is being called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), or the Entity ID. has begun preparing for this transition by educating users about the upcoming changes and updating field labels and references to the DUNS Number (the current identifier) within the system. Users should continue using the DUNS Number in UEI fields until further notice. To learn more about SAM’s rollout of the UEI, please visit

How long does it take to obtain a DUNS number?

Allow up to two business days to obtain a DUNS number, but it can occur in one business day.

Information for Foreign Applicants

If your organization is located outside the United States, you can register for a DUNS number online. To register with D&B, you are not required to obtain a federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). When registering, simply leave the TIN/EIN information blank. However, anyone doing business with the federal government generally needs to obtain a TIN/EIN in order to meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax reporting requirements.

More information for foreign applicants is available in the Grant Eligibility section of Learn Grants. For tax and TIN information, visit the IRS website and search for their most recent guidance for Aliens and International Taxpayers. You may also contact the Agency Point of Contact listed for the grant opportunity to get more information on a specific grant opportunity.

Help: Online User Guide

Find registration, search, and application instructions for all users in the Online User Guide.

For detailed applicant information, review the Applicants section of the online user guide.

Building credibility, trustworthiness and reliability as a business involves having a positive record of paying vendor and business loans back on time. Not only that, but a positive payment history can help you more easily obtain loans and lines of credit to grow your business.

So how can you prove that your business has a great credit history? Make use of one of the most common tools for accessing a business’s credit report and consider registering for a DUNS number for your small business.

Quick Navigation

Are you a job seeker? Find jobs.

What is a DUNS number?

A Data Universal Number System or D-U-N-S number is a nine-digit identification number that corresponds with a business’s credit record. Its standard format is:

Released in 1963 by the credit-reporting firm Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the DUNS system is standardized across the world to help businesses establish credit, and serve as a database for important company information (e.g., company name, physical location, phone number, financial health indicators, business structure). The DUNS number is associated with your business’s credit rating, legal proceedings, payment records with vendors and other public information. DUNS numbers create a common identity for different aspects of your credit, like the D&B Paydex credit score, delinquency prediction ratings, other credit assessments, public filings (e.g., liens, judgments) and legal information.

Overall, like social security numbers, DUNS numbers can reveal a lot about your business (e.g., credit score, demographic information) and proves to suppliers, customers, contractors, vendors and other potential business partners that your business actually exists.

Why you might need a DUNS number

Obtaining a DUNS number can open up new opportunities for your business. Here are just a few of the key benefits of having one:

Build a strong credit history: A DUNS number is essential for small businesses that want to gain credibility and attract interest from serious investors. Suppliers, vendors, investors, lenders and other business contacts monitor business credit reports to decide who they want to do business with. Just like personal credit, business credit builds over time, so the sooner you register a DUNS number with your business, the sooner you can start establishing creditworthiness. Building a strong credit history can help you secure long-term contracts with suppliers and vendors since you’ve proven that you’re a creditworthy business.

Do business with government entities: Many government contract opportunities also require businesses to submit their DUNS number in order to make a bid. Federal, state and local business grants frequently ask for a DUNS number before they consider funding a business. If you’re interested in doing business with any government agency (e.g., DoD, FEMA, other federal agencies), consider registering in the System for Award Management (SAM) in addition to getting a DUNS number.

Work with private foreign companies: A DUNS number can prove to foreign companies you want to work with that your business is legitimate. Additionally, you may be required to have a DUNS number to set up a branch in another country, depending on local regulations.

Keep personal and business finances separate: Having a DUNS number for your business can also reduce the amount of stress on your personal credit in order to fund your company. If you don’t have a credit profile for your business, you may need to rely on your personal credit history in order to secure business funds, which can increase your personal liability and make taxes more complex.

There are a number of other things you can do with a DUNS number, including:

  • Speeding up the application process for a SSL certificate to make your business website more secure
  • Developing iOS apps for the App Store. (Apple requires businesses to sign up with their DUNS number.)
  • Supplying goods to companies. Many companies require their suppliers to have a DUNS number.

How to get a DUNS number

With D&B online, it’s completely free to register for a DUNS number and start creating a credit report for your company. Any legal entity is eligible for a DUNS number, including LLCs, C-corps and S-corps. Consider these steps to sign up for your DUNS number:

1. Check if you already have one

Anyone can request a DUNS entry for a business, including business owners, vendors, financial institutions and government entities. If a third-party has requested your business’s credit information, you may already have a DUNS number. To find out if you have a preexisting DUNS number, go to the D&B website and enter your business’s name, phone number and address. If your business has an existing DUNS number, you can confirm your identity to gain access to your credit report and update financial records.

2. Gather all of your info

If you don’t have a DUNS number, you can register by filling out a simple online application or by calling their toll-free number at 1-(866) 705-5711. To apply, you’ll need to know:

  • The legal status of your business (partnership, LLC, corporation, proprietorship)
  • Your business’s legal name
  • The year of establishment
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Primary products or services
  • Number of employees

Enter the data into the fields online or read it over the phone to complete your registration. The whole process typically only takes a few minutes.

3. Optional: pay for fast-tracking

After submitting an application, it can take up to 30 days to receive a DUNS number. If you want to expedite the process, you can pay $229 to get your DUNS number in five business days or less. D&B may fast-track some DUNS applications for free if you’re registering as part of a bid for a government grant or contract.

4. Report transactions

Once you have an established DUNS number, your business credit report will automatically gather public information like legal judgments and bankruptcies. Most suppliers and vendors don’t report directly to D&B, so if you want your score to include past business transactions, you’ll typically need to submit them yourself for a fee.

DUNS number FAQs

Is a DUNS number the same as a tax ID number?

A DUNS number is separate from your tax ID number. The IRS assigns tax ID numbers for businesses to use for taxes, while the DUNS is exclusively for tracking business credit reports.

What is the difference between DUNS numbers and Paydex?

DUNS numbers are the actual identification number D&B attaches to your business, while Paydex is one of their credit scoring systems for businesses — similar to a FICO score for individuals. The score ranges from 0 to 100. Low-risk businesses are usually in the 80-100 range, while high-risk businesses typically score between one and 49. To get your Paydex score, you must register for your DUNS number and have at least four trade references.

Who can access my business’s credit report?

Your D&B business credit reports are available to the general public, including landlords, customers, insurers and potential partners.

Does every company have a DUNS number?

Since businesses aren’t required to obtain a DUNS number (unless they contract with government agencies), not every company has one. However, according to Dun & Bradstreet, 330 million global businesses have a DUNS number.


How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number



Like many entrepreneurs, the retail store owner I spoke with recently is trying to move away from using personal credit to finance her business, and to help her do that, she’s started the process of building business credit. “I’ve got a ‘Duns number’,” she told me, “but I’m confused. What do I do next?”

Getting a free D-U-N-S number is one of the first steps in the credit-building process. It’s the identifying number for a business in the Dun & Bradstreet commercial credit database, and your business must be assigned one in order to create a business credit profile in their system. In addition to building business credit, D-U-N-S numbers may also be required when applying for government contracts or grants or before doing business with other businesses.

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

Use Your Duns Number To Get A Business Credit Card

When you sign up for a free Nav account, we use your DUNS number to match you up with business credit cards. You also get free access to your D&B credit report. Signing up won’t hurt your scores.

The next, and perhaps most crucial, step in the process of building business credit is to establish credit references that will appear on your credit report with Dun & Bradstreet and other commercial credit reporting agencies. Payment history is the most important factor that influences business credit scores and without any accounts reporting it’s difficult for a credit bureau to calculate a business credit score. In fact, to calculate a Paydex Score— one of D&B’s most well-known credit scores— D&B says a business needs at least two companies reporting at least three credit experiences on its D&B credit report.

How do you get those accounts?

One option is to get a small business credit card that reports to D&B, along with other major business credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and the SBFE. If you have good personal credit and sufficient income from all sources, qualifying shouldn’t be too difficult. This guide explains which small business credit cards report to business credit .

If you can’t qualify for a business credit card at this time, you aren’t necessarily out of luck though.

There are several companies that sell supplies to businesses and make it very easy to set up an account “on terms” where you order the item and pay for it later. The most common arrangement is “net-30” terms where you must pay the bill within 30 days of the invoice date. These vendors offer a wide variety of products that businesses regularly use, from shipping and office supplies to furniture and equipment. They aren’t likely to check the owner’s personal credit either. The initial credit limit may be small but as you prove you’re a reliable customer who pays on time, you can get that increased. Here are three vendors that report to business credit .

Entrepreneurs sometimes ask me about adding accounts they already pay to their business credit reports. In the past that process has been somewhat cumbersome as the lender or vendor must set up an account with the business credit bureaus to report customer information on a regular basis.

A company called eCredable also helps small businesses get information about certain bills they already pay— such as cell phone, power and internet bills— added to their business credit reports. For a monthly fee, eCredable Lift will verify qualifying bills and then report them to CreditSafe and Ansonia business credit reports. They also report the monthly fee they charge to Dun & Bradstreet as a tradeline.

Once you have several accounts appearing on your business credit report, the next step is to make sure you pay on time. Again, payment history is the most important factor when business credit scores are calculated. You don’t want to get busy running your business and forget to pay a bill; that can set you back quickly in your efforts to move away from personal credit.

Entrepreneurs are often pleasantly surprised at how soon they can see their business credit go from “no credit score” to a good credit score, just by getting a few accounts that report, and paying them on time. It takes a little effort to get started, but your business will benefit in the long run.

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

Pull back the curtain on your business credit to find better financing

Ready to see your credit data and build stronger business credit to help your business get financing? Check your personal and business credit for free.

This article was originally written on November 7, 2018 and updated on November 13, 2020.

Rate This Article

This article currently has 40 ratings with an average of 5 stars.


Education Director for Nav

Gerri Detweiler is Education Director for Nav. Known as a financing and credit expert, she has been interviewed in more than 4000 news stories, and answered over 10,000 credit questions online. Her articles have been widely syndicated on sites such as MSN, Forbes, and MarketWatch. She is the author or coauthor of five books, including Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. She has testified before Congress on consumer credit legislation.

Learn what the D-U-N-S Number is and how you can use yours to grow your business.

What is a D‑U‑N‑S Number?

The D‑U‑N‑S Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. It is used to establish a D&B® business credit file, which is 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 400 million global businesses.

What is Company Update?

Company Update provides small businesses and non-publicly traded companies convenient access to Dun & Bradstreet information on their business, and D-U-N-S Number registration. Registered users can view, print, and submit updates to their Dun & Bradstreet Business Information Report. By keeping this information current and complete, you can impact your business’s credibility with banks, suppliers, and other companies that do business with you.

The Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number registration process can take up to 30 business days for any entity. Any fast-track service may be chargeable.

Only Apple Developers & US FDA requests can get free of charge assignment of D-U-N-S Number within 5 business days

Register to Use Company Update

Sign-up now to access your company’s business credit file information. Registration is simple and only takes a few minutes. You must be a current registered executive officer within your company to use this site.

Register / Update

Why do I need a D‑U‑N‑S Number?

The D‑U‑N‑S Number is used in dozens of countries around the world, including the US, Australia and the European Union, and confers numerous benefits on businesses that participate. The business credit file associated with your business’s D‑U‑N‑S Number can help potential partners and lenders learn about your business and make informed decisions about whether or not to work with you as a client, supplier or partner. Even after you’ve signed a contract or accepted a loan, your D‑U‑N‑S Number can be used to help get a clear view of your business, which can help you negotiate for improved terms and conditions or a favorable line of credit.

Manage Cash Flow

Many businesses face overwhelming cash flow problems. Accessing another company’s business credit file using the D-U-N-S Number can help you make decisions on how to manage your business’s cash. Learn more about managing cash flow.

Prevent Bad Debt

It can be difficult to resolve existing bad debt, but you can try to prevent it. Using the D-U-N-S Number to access another company’s business credit file can help you avoid risky situations and unpaid invoices. Learn more about managing bad debt.

D-U-N-S ® Registered TM Solutions

In today’s competitive marketplace, it can be challenging to attract new clients or customers. Dun & Bradstreet, the world’s leading provider of global business information, knowledge and insight, offers you an opportunity to enhance the trust and confidence in your business credentials by displaying verified and validated information through Dun & Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S® RegisteredTM Solutions.

Updated Wednesday, March 14, 2018

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

Have you ever wondered how to work with the government as an independent contractor? The federal government is the largest contractor in the world, with many opportunities for independents. Each year, billions of dollars in contracts are set aside for small businesses, women, minorities, and veterans.

Many independents look to government contracting as another option for growing their business. Follow these four steps to understand the processes, requirements, and resources needed to engage with the government.

How to Get Government Contracts

1. Obtain a D-U-N-S Number

To be eligible to win government contracts, you will first need to obtain a D-U-N-S number—a unique 9-digit number for each physical location of your business. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) provides this number within one business day at no cost to you.

2. Determine Your NAICS Code

NAICS—the North American Industry Classification System—classifies businesses to collect data related to the U.S. economy. You’ll need a NAICS code to register your business and to apply for certain federal contracts. For more information about NAICS codes, check out guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

3. Register in the System for Award Management

Next, you need to register with the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is an official website of the U.S. government that houses a database of companies interested in government contracts. You’ll need to create an account and complete your profile to become searchable.

4. Explore Active Opportunities

Now you’re ready to explore active federal government contracting opportunities. There are a few different ways you can go about this:

  1. Register with Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) to search and bid on open opportunities.
  2. Search the Government Services Administration (GSA) Schedules program. GSA Schedules spends approximately $50 billion per year in federal procurement, much of which goes to small businesses.
  3. Check out SUB-Net, where you can find subcontracting opportunities.

Keep in mind, however, government contracting is a tough area to navigate alone. The criteria can be difficult to meet—it can be hard to hold your own security clearance, for example—so many independents find they have to go through vendors or integrators to secure contracting opportunities.

What government contracts require

1. Time and resources

Independents may not be aware of the number of hours and resources required to pursue and manage a government contract. For example, part of applying for federal contracts involves completing Representations and Certifications. These provisions require you to represent and certify to a variety of statements ranging from environmental rules and compliance to entity size. Representations and Certifications are designed to ensure that you are in compliance with laws and regulations and are an extremely detailed part of the process.

In addition to taking a great deal of time to complete paperwork, there are legal implications as well. If you’re going through this process for the first time or on your own, it’s advisable to obtain a legal review.

2. Liability Insurance

In addition to the time, resources, and credentials needed to obtain a government contract, there may be additional requirements as well. Government contracts, similar to many large commercial contracts, may require additional liability insurance.

3. Special invoicing and payment terms

Invoicing and payment terms may differ from standard business contracts. It’s common for government contracts to be monthly, net-60, which means you may not receive payment for 90 days. Any mistakes can lead to a delay in payment for several months.

There may also be special invoicing requirements. Government contracting requires you to keep track of your funding and notify the government when you’ve reached 75% of your funding. Failure to do so may carry a penalty. It’s therefore important to read contracts very carefully to ensure that you understand your responsibilities as a contractor.

4. Certifications

Independents interested in contracting with the government often solely focus on certifications and requirements. But checking all the boxes and becoming part of the pool of applicants is just one part of the process. Another helpful item is pursuing 8-A status as a small disadvantaged business. This program contains certifications such as the Women-Owned Small Business program or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program, which can give you a leg up in obtaining government contracts, as many government contracts have a small business set-aside.

5. Relationships

Relationships will help you stand out as more than one of many available vendors. Continue to apply the same practices of networking and relationship building to government contracts as you do to other business opportunities.

The Bottom Line

Government contracting is a big task and can detract from billable time if you are not familiar with the process. It is important to assess the requirements before deciding if pursuing a government contract is right for your business. However, while the process may seem overwhelming, opportunities do exist and could be the right fit for you.

MBO Partners is currently on the GSA schedule and offers several programs of interest to government contractors including support for completing the associated paperwork. If you’re interested in pursuing government contract opportunities, consider joining MBO Advantage.

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

Search Current Open Contracts & Solicitations by Keyword

Check SAM Registration Status

Locate your SAM Registration by DUNS Number or CAGE Code to view current status and details.

Small Business Certifications

Obtain your Federal Small Business Certification including Woman-Owned, Veteran Owned, Minority Owned & HUBZone Certifications.

Check to see if you qualify now.

What is a DUNS Number for?

Having to obtain or up-to-date a DUNS Number (Unique Entity Identifier) is the very 1st step in the SAM Registration & Certification process. During the SAM Registration process is when a CAGE Code (Commercial and Government Entity Codes) is assigned to an entity, which remains the same for the life of that entity. ALL Organizations, Businesses and Government Entities MUST have an updated DUNS Number in place at least 48 hours prior to submitting a SAM Registration for approval.

Dun & Bradstreet is an organization that assigns legal entities a nine digit number for business credit monitoring and tracking purposes. In order to submit a new or renewal of a SAM Registration to the DLA (Defense Logistics Agency), the legal entity must have an up-to-date DUNS Number in place. This information must also match exactly what the IRS and Secretary of State has on file for that legal entity as well. There are multiple cross checks to ensure that ALL DATA is up-to-date and matches exactly across all platforms in order for a SAM Registration to be approved. There are some time frames involved, special circumstances and a multitude of other items involved throughout the SAM Registration process.

How to acquire a d‐u‐n‐s number

How Do I Get a DUNS Number?

If a New DUNS Number is needed, you may contact Dun & Bradstreet directly to obtain one. Depending on the circumstances and choices made, it can take up to 30 days to receive a DUNS Number. After you have an up-to-date DUNS Number in place, you may now begin the SAM Registration process itself.

USBRI facilitates this area of the process for organizations when filing for or renewing a SAM Registration & Certification. In most cases we can obtain a New DUNS Number within 24 hours when needed, as well as ensuring the data for an entity is up-to-date with ALL agencies and organizations involved in the Registration and Certification process for fastest approval.

How Do I Update My DUNS Number?

An owner, officer or director of an organization are the only people who may make changes to a DUNS Number. Anyone attempting to submit changes must be in a position to prove their identity based on public records and other information on file. You can call Dun & Bradstreet directly or attempt to make the changes via their online portal.

This is another area of the SAM Registration & Certification process that USBRI facilitates for the client to minimize the burden of time involved on your end. Again, not only must an entity’s information be updated with Dun & Bradstreet; it must also be updated with the IRS, State Agencies, DLA, GSA, DSBS, FEMA and others depending on certain criteria of your organization.