Dun & Bradstreet is one of the largest and most popular business credit reporting agencies in the nation. As a leading provider of business information and risk assessment for suppliers, creditors, lenders, and businesses worldwide; it’s no secret getting a positive rating from this agency is a must for any business.
With a positive Dun & Bradstreet rating a company can acquire more favorable credit terms and higher credit limits when applying for credit. Many suppliers, creditors, banks, and leasing companies pull data and ratings from D&B to assess the credit worthiness of a business.
It’s important to note, although a business can get registered with D&B by obtaining a DUNS Number, it does not mean the business will have a credit profile and rating. It takes a minimum of four trade references reporting on a company’s business credit report in order to generate a business credit rating with Dun & Bradstreet.
While Dun & Bradstreet has several types of scores and ratings, the Paydex® Score is the most widely recognized rating used by creditors for risk assessment. This rating system ranges from 1 to 100, with 80 or higher scores indicating favorable payment performance.
So how do you get a Dun & Bradstreet Rating?
First, you will need to check and verify if your business is already listed in D&B’s database by conducting a DUNS lookup. If you locate your company during the search then you will need to register with iUpdate (a free service) so you can obtain your DUNS Number and view your company profile.
The purpose of viewing your profile via iUpdate is to ensure all the information about your business in D&B’s database is accurate and up to date. In iUpdate you have the ability to make any necessary corrections or update company information. Make sure you have an accurate company profile; this is a crucial step to complete prior to applying for credit as a business.
If you cannot locate your company after conducting a DUNS lookup then you will need to get a DUNS Number for your business. Basically you have two options; you can either obtain one for free which takes up to thirty days or you can get a DUNS Number in five business days by purchasing one of their services such as Credit Signal®.
Once you have a DUNS Number the next step is to apply for credit with four suppliers or creditors that furnish payment data to Dun & Bradstreet. Be sure to pay all your invoices on or ahead of the due date.
Remember, in order to generate a Paydex® score you will need a minimum of four trade lines reporting on your file. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is with vendor lines of credit.
Another way to obtain the trade lines requirement is by adding existing trade references your company already has to your file. Did you know with D&B’s credit builder program a business can add up to four trade references to its credit file? No other business credit agency offers this option.
Keep in mind each reference supplied will be contacted, screened, and verified before being added to your company credit file.
So why should you establish a Dun & Bradstreet rating?
Suppliers, banks, creditors, leasing companies, and even customers all use Dun & Bradstreet ratings for many reasons such as:
- Determining whether to accept a sale or reject an account
- Assessing whether your company pays on time or not
- Determining the rate of interest your business will pay and what terms to offer
- Deciding what amount of credit limits should be extended
- Assessing what your company’s insurance premiums will be
While establishing business credit with four trade lines generates a rating with Dun & Bradstreet, there are other factors that play an important role. Factors such as credit diversity, payment history, credit limits, debt to credit ratios, age of accounts, etc. all impact the overall creditworthiness of a business.
On a final note, make sure you build your business credit ratings with all three major business credit reporting agencies for maximum business financing ability.