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  • Writer's pictureAl Dareshore

Demystifying DUNS Number vs. EIN: Understanding the Key Differences

When starting a business, navigating through various identification numbers and acronyms can be overwhelming. Two of the most commonly confused identifiers are the DUNS Number and the EIN (Employer Identification Number). In this blog post, we'll break down the differences between these two crucial identifiers to help you understand their respective roles and significance in the business world.

DUNS Number: A Universal Business Identifier

Firstly, let's explore the DUNS Number. Short for Data Universal Numbering System, the DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned to businesses by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a leading provider of business information and credit reporting services. The primary purpose of the DUNS Number is to establish a universal system for identifying and tracking businesses across various industries and geographic locations.

Businesses use DUNS Numbers for a variety of purposes, including:

  1. Establishing credibility: Having a DUNS Number can enhance your business's credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of lenders, suppliers, and potential partners.

  2. Accessing credit and funding: Many lenders and financial institutions require businesses to have a DUNS Number when applying for loans or lines of credit.

  3. Bidding on government contracts: Government agencies often require businesses to have a DUNS Number to bid on contracts and participate in government-funded projects.

EIN: The Taxpayer Identification Number for Businesses

On the other hand, the EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes. Also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, the EIN is used to identify businesses for federal tax reporting and withholding purposes.

Key functions of the EIN include:

  1. Tax reporting: Businesses use their EIN when filing various tax returns, including income tax, employment tax, and excise tax returns.

  2. Hiring employees: Employers use the EIN to report wages and other compensation paid to employees and to facilitate payroll tax withholding.

  3. Opening bank accounts: Many banks require businesses to provide an EIN when opening business bank accounts or applying for business loans.

DUNS Number vs. EIN: Understanding the Differences

While both the DUNS Number and EIN are important identifiers for businesses, it's essential to understand that they serve distinct purposes. The DUNS Number is primarily used for business identification and credit reporting, while the EIN is used for tax purposes and employer identification.

In summary, here's a quick overview of the main differences between the two:

  • DUNS Number: Used for business identification, credit reporting, and establishing credibility with lenders and suppliers.

  • EIN: Used for tax reporting, employment tax withholding, and identifying businesses for federal tax purposes.

Partnering with for Business Success

At, we understand the importance of proper business identification and the role it plays in accessing credit and funding opportunities. Our team specializes in helping businesses establish strong credit profiles and navigate the complexities of business financing.

Whether you need assistance obtaining a DUNS Number, understanding your business credit report, or accessing funding options, is here to help. Schedule a consultation with us today and take the first step towards achieving your business goals.

Keywords: DUNS number, EIN, business identification, credit reporting, tax reporting, business financing,

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