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HOW TO GET A DUNS NUMBER FROM DUN AND BRADSTREET

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SHELF CORPORATIONS AND SHELF LLC'S

Please Notice:  Applying for corporate credit is more involved at this time due higher standards in application for credit.  It's  unlikely to obtain more than $100,000 in credit lines, involving no collateral and with no guarantor.  Using a shelf company may be considered high risk in obtaining credit, regardless of the source.  Results vary.

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DUNS IS OWNED BY DUN AND BRADSTREET.  FOR OUR REVIEW AND THIS DISCUSSION, WE REFER TO IT AS THE "DUNS."  WHAT IS IT AND WHERE DO I GET ONE?  ARE CUSTOMERS OF DUN AND BRADSTREET HAPPY PAYING $229 FOR SOMETHING THAT IS FREE IN 30-45 DAYS?

 

What is a DUNS Number?  DUNS means Data Universal Numbering Systems or D-U-N-S and its copyrighted by D&B.  For the discussion here we call it the DUNS.  It's a nine digit number by D&B to identify businesses, according to name and location.  If the company is in good standing, dissolved or out of business, the DUNS is assigned to that business at that particular address.  The DUNS leads to disclosure of company data; such as mailing address, DBA's, financial information, payment history and more.

 

D&B will assign a DUNS to your business if you like it or not.  They are simply naming your company a number.  And that number is used by D&B to identify your company so they can sell information about your business.  The information that they sell, according to their own admission, doesn't need to be accurate.  D&B labels company according to the risk level rated by D&B.  And much of what they do is arbitrary.  Many times, if there is a lack of information, and a lack of payment history, D&B may label a company "High Risk."  That High Risk label may be slapped on with impunity, particularly when the business has agreed to D&B's terms of use.  Regardless, the DUNS is used to look up that company name and the label slapped onto the company by D&B.  In other words, a company that doesn't have a history may be labeled "High Risk."  D&B believes you have the responsibility to tell them your sales numbers.  Yes, they believe you owe them an answer as to your business, what you do, your sales number and other data.  And of course, they sell this information about your business.  All of this information is indexed according to their DUNS system.

 

Your business may acquire a DUNS for free in 30 to 45 days, or pay about $229 to get one in less than a week.  That's right, D&B wants you to pay $229 to get the DUNS rather than wait a month to obtain it for free.  D&B also wants you to pay $1399 to "update" your companies credit profile.

 

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER(EIN) and D&B's DUNS?

 

An EIN is used to communicate with the IRS, and on company's tax returns.  An EIN is also used by the bank to identify your company to look up accounts, loans, loan applications and other information.  An EIN for your company is like a SSN for you as US human.

 

The DUNS is a number issued by D&B for identifying your company and to share information about your company.  The DUNS is issued by D&B, a corporation.  Although D&B sells information to the IRS, and the IRS may find out your company's DUNS number, the DUNS is not used to pay taxes. 

 

HOW DO I GET A DUNS?

 

Clients reported the DUNS is free if you can wait a month.  An online chat with a D&B representative confirmed that the DUNS is received within 30 to 45 days, free of charge.  You can contact D&B directly for DUNS.  Alternatively, you can apply for credit and a DUNS is assigned automatically within a month.

 

WHAT IF I WANT A DUNS SOONER AND DON'T WANT TO WAIT 30 TO 45 DAYS?

 

D&B drags their feet, about 30-45 days, to issue your DUNS.  Many people perceive this as a way to convince you to pay the D&B fee of $229 to get the DUNS within 3-5 days. 

 

To obtain the DUNS free, visit this D&B link:

https://www.dandb.com/product/companyupdate/companyupdateLogin?execution=e1s1

 

D&B LIKES TO CHARGE A FEE TO CUT PROCESSING FROM 30-45 DAYS DOWN TO 3-5 DAYS.

 

Timing is important.  We sell aged shelf companies for a fee.  Aged companies cost more than new companies because they are older.  In effect, you leverage time with an aged shelf company.  By acquiring an aged company, you're jumping years ahead instead of starting business with a new company.  Likewise, the various Secretary of States like to charge a fee to expedite processing of your company articles of incorporation.  Just the same, D&B likes to charge a fee to "expedite" the issuance of a DUNS.  The US Postal Service charges extra for Express Mail than First Class Mail.  But if you really think about, why does it take 30 to 45 days to issue a DUNS?  Our review of the D&B approach is that they are geared to collect fees.  So, we're going to discuss several ways to get a DUNS.

 

The issue of time is a consistent practice, benefit and cost in business.  Whether you mail something first class or send it Fedex, or pay the Secretary of State expedited handling carries a premium in pricing.  D&B is no exception to this universal rule.  Although D&B doesn't like aged shelf companies, they are not immune from charging about $229 to get a DUNS within a week, so you don't need to wait a month. 

 

Check out this link on the promoting of their DUNS express service:

 

https://www.dandb.com/duns-file/

 

IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO GET A DUNS WITHOUT CONTACTING D&B?

 

D&B wants to charge a fee to give you a DUNS.  D&B also collects information about your business to sell to other businesses.  This is how they make money.  So, let's work within the "system" to obtain a DUNS with minimum interaction with D&B.  Why?  Interacting with D&B means you must agree to their terms of use.  Their terms of use says that their information about you doesn't need to be accurate.  So, don't agree.  Bypass D&B and get the DUNS without agreeing to their terms of use.

 

Let's say you visit Lowes or Home Depot, or Grainger.com, and apply for business credit line using your corporation.  Then Grainger, for example, contacts D&B and asks them (digitally) for a copy of your company's file and DUNS number.  D&B notices there's no DUNS and issues one so they may sell this information to Grainger.  Again, D&B makes money in selling the payment and business information that they collect (about your business).  And they collect this information through various public and private sources.  The bottom line is that D&B will issue that DUNS because Grainger asked for one.  Then D&B will go to work to solicit money from you.  D&B will call your business, based on the contact information you left on the application (with Grainger).  D&B may say something like, "We noticed that your business credit file is incomplete.  We invite you to complete your credit profile."  This updated credit profile may cost over $1300.   They are inviting you to agree to their "Terms of Use."  You're welcome to read their Terms of Use here:

 

https://creditreports.D&B.com/m/terms-of-use.html

 

Then do a text search for "Accuracy."  Strange that D&B doesn't warrant for "accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any of the data and/or programs(information) available at this D&B Site." 

 

By agreeing to their Terms of Use, you are agreeing that they can say anything about your company and, to their own admission, it doesn't need to be accurate.  The best you can do is to not agree!  Simply don't sign up for the DUNS number through D&B!  Get it another way.

 

GET THE DUNS WITHOUT TALKING TO D&B

 

D&B doesn't tell you that you don't need to talk to them to get that DUNS.  In fact, they insist you must "complete your incomplete business profile or credit profile."  You don't need to complete any file at all.  You don't need to pay them any money.  Within a week or two from applying for business credit, D&B will call you repeatedly to "update" the information.  If you don't talk to them, they issue a DUNS anyway! Why?  They want to collect information about your business and sell it to others.

 

Wall Street Journal article:  Credit Monitor's Hard Sell Under Scrutiny

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303277704579349180265356854

 

Check out RipOffReport.com and the consumer's point of view on D&B:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/specific_search/dun%20and%20bradstreet

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/specific_search/d&b

 

ALWAYS BE TRUTHFUL WHEN APPLYING FOR A LOAN OR COMMUNICATING WITH D&B

 

D&B sells their information to the IRS.  Yes, the IRS buys data from D&B.  Whatever information you provide on a credit application, involving your business, is shared with D&B.  And D&B shares that information with the IRS.  If the information on your tax return doesn't match up to the D&B data, your business may be targeted for audit.  Once you give any information to D&B, you're also giving it to the IRS.  Be truthful to the IRS.  Be truthful on all loan applications.  And be truthful on any information given to D&B.  Remember, any information on a business loan application is information shared with D&B and eventually the IRS.

 

BBB REPORTS

 

The Better Business Bureau appears to be an advertising agency disguised as a non-profit.  They charge a fee for the right to use the BBB logo.  They are not a Bureau.  They simply receive complaints.  And as long as the merchant responds to the customer complaint, the BBB merchant(D&B) gets to keep their good rating of A+.  Let me rephrase that so it sinks in.  D&B only needs to respond to the complaint--not resolve the issue.  But the number of complaints is an indicator of a possible problem.  As of June 16, 2016, BBB.org lists Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. with 206 complaints.  Search for the location at 103 John F Kennedy Parkway, Short Hills NJ 07078.

 

IS THERE ANY BLOWBACK TO D&B?

 

Yes, besides the negative press coverage of D&B's high pressure sales technique, and they admit D&B reports are possibly inaccurate.  People are getting wise to DNB.com.  Simply, if you know that D&B is selling information they admit is inaccurate, why buy their information?  If they don't want to be accountable for the information they sell, then you have options:

  • Every time they sell information that is inaccurate about your business and they label your business "High Risk," consider talking to a lawyer about suing them in small claims court.  If D&B was sued in small claims for selling false information, their business model would collapse under its own weight.  Even if they won, they couldn't deal the barrage of small claims suits.

  • Contact your local media about D&B's practices.

  • Consider not buying D&B's information/reports.  If D&B doesn't report accurate information about your business, why buy reports about others' businesses from D&B?

  • Think twice before signing for D&B's terms of use.

  • File a complaint about D&B on ripoffreport.com

  • Discuss your concerns with D&B reps on the D&B chat rooms.  Consider posting the chat conversation online.

  • The best practice is not to talk to D&B by telephone.  Write them a certified letter return receipt about their false information and give them a time period to fix the inaccuracy; say 30 days.  You have more power if you don't agree to their terms of use.  Once you agree to D&B terms of use, they can say anything they want.

  • If you want to take action against D&B, consider this course of action:

    • Apply for business credit local within your state with local suppliers.

    • If DNB sends a false report to a vendor in your state, then you may have recourse locally.

    • Then talk to an attorney about filing in small claims court against DNB. 

    • Once DNB sees that their any false or inaccurate reporting by DNB will result in local consequences, their business model for selling inaccurate data will fall apart.

    • DNB is strong in Federal court with their corporate lawyers who are on salary.  But DNB appears weak in the sense that the must pay local lawyers to defend local claims on the local level.  If you want to sue DNB, talk to your attorney about how to sue DNB on the local level in small claims court every time DNB provides a false, misleading or inaccurate report that impacts your business.

 

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