About DUNS Numbers

What is a DUNS number and why you need it

The DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number is a nine digit identification number widely used by both commercial and federal entities. It is assigned by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) and keeps track of more than 200 million businesses world-wide.

DUNS numbers are required for all federal level grant applications, including The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Since South Arts re-grants federal funds, it has become a requirement for our applicants as well. Some of our partner state arts agencies are beginning to require the DUNS number too.

DUNS numbers are important because organizations with them are included in a nationwide study of nonprofit and for-profit arts-related businesses called Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts. This report is produced by Americans for the Arts and provides a valuable visibility and advocacy tool for advancing the arts. It documents the number of arts-related businesses and employees in any geographical region or political jurisdiction. By having a DUNS number, your organization is included in this nationwide study.

To find out whether or not you already have a DUNS number, you can call the D&B operator (866-705-5711) or check their online database (https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/companylookup.htm).

How to get a DUNS number

An authorizing official of the organization, not a project director, should request a DUNS number. If you do not have a DUNS number, you can request one by phone or online.

Phone: Call D&B at 866-705-5711 and tell the operator that you are applying to a federal grant program and need to register for a DUNS number. The process will take about ten minutes.
Online: Submit your web request at fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Online requests typically take 1-2 business days to process.

Is there a fee for registering for a DUNS number?

No, D&B should not charge you a fee.

You will be asked to provide:

  • Legal name of your organization
  • Contact information
  • Name of authorizing official (e.g. director, president)
  • Number of employees at your location
  • Purpose of your organization
  • Headquarters name and address (if there is a reporting relationship to a parent corporate entity)
  • Your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. The SIC refers to the type of organization or art-form (e.g., arts council, ballet company, or actress).