Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit Reports: What Business Owners Need to Know

7 min read
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Executive Summary

A strong credit report can help your small business attract competitive offers from vendors, suppliers, investors, partners, and lenders. This guide will focus on what Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) credit reports are, how they work, and how to optimize yours! 

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Before a lender considers extending credit to your business, it needs to know that you’re likely to repay the amount on time. Similarly, potential business partners, vendors, and suppliers usually want to understand your company’s creditworthiness. So, where do they turn? Often, they pull business credit reports from trusted agencies like Experian, Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet Inc. (D&B).

By building a strong credit report, you can instill confidence in whoever is looking into your company. This will better position you for a variety of opportunities from loans and investments to partnerships. But how do you establish a D&B report and ensure it’s helping you? Here’s what you need to know.

Company Fast Facts:

  • Name: Dun & Bradstreet Holdings Inc. (D&B)
  • Website: www.dnb.com
  • Founded: 1841 in New York
  • Headquarters: 101 John F Kennedy Pkwy, Short Hills, NJ
  • Number of Employees: 6,296
  • Products and Services: Data and analytics solutions to inform commercial credit decisions. Also offers marketing solutions, master data management, APIs, events, webinars, and more.
  • Public or private: Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
  • Ticker symbol: DNB

What is a Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit Score?

Dun & Bradstreet is a long-standing global provider of commercial data, analytics, and insights that helps businesses with their risk management initiatives. One of its main services involves providing business credit reports that feature a collection of scores. Each score helps to communicate the amount of risk a business presents in a certain area — such as how likely the company is to go out of business in the next year. Learn more about the five main types of D&B credit scores below.

Dun and Bradstreet Credit Score Factors

All of the main business credit agencies provide a collection of scores when assessing businesses. Here are the main scores you’ll find on D&B’s reports, along with some of the business records used in determining them.


The D&B Paydex Score ranges from 0 to 100 (100 being the best) and rates how well your business has paid its bills over the past year. It’s based on company financial data such as tradeline payment history. Further, it uses a weighted average, so larger invoices will weigh heavier on the overall index than smaller ones.

Expert tip: Your business needs at least three tradelines from at least two different vendors before you’ll get a Paydex score.

D&B Delinquency Score

The D&B Delinquency Score is a rating that reveals how likely your company is to pay bills 90 days late or more. It’s based on a scale of 1 to 100 (100 is the best). Factors that can hurt your score include late payments, evidence of liens, being in higher-risk industries, or a limited time under the company’s current management.

D&B Failure Score

The D&B Failure Score can be used to predict the likelihood that a business is going to fail in the next 12 months. Failing can involve:

  • Seeking legal relief from creditors
  • Going out of business without paying off creditors
  • Voluntarily withdrawing from business operations and leaving unpaid obligations
  • Going into reorganization or receivership

This score ranges from 1 to 100 (100 is the best). Factors that can hurt your Failure Score include late payments, a high number of credit inquiries, new UCC filings, or a high proportion of past due balances in comparison to the total amounts owed.

D&B Rating Score

The D&B Rating Score reflects your company’s financial strength and the amount of risk it presents. It’s based on factors including your time in business, payments, financial information, and more.

D&B Viability Rating 

Lastly, the D&B Viability Score predicts if a company will go out of business in the coming year. It’s part of the D&B Viability Rating Summary which also shows the depth of data available for a company, its years in business, and a portfolio comparison.

You’ll usually find these five main ratings on your D&B credit report, along with a collection of other information about your business. See a sample D&B credit report.

How to See if You Have a Dun and Bradstreet Business Credit Report

Wondering if your company has a Dun & Bradstreet report yet? D&B creates company files for businesses using a numbering system. You can check to see if a D-U-N-S Number has been created for your business on the D&B website.

How? Visit the page for getting D-U-N-S Numbers. Enter your company name, address, and phone number, and then click “Search.” If you have a file on record, it’ll be listed in the search results and you can view the details from there.

How to Get a D-U-N-S Number and Business Credit Report

If you perform a search and don’t yet have a D-U-N-S Number, you can request one by clicking “Get a New D-U-N-S Number” and following these steps.

  • Choose a Plan: Establishing a business credit file with D&B can be free. The free plan includes CreditSignal which sends you free alerts when your D&B scores and ratings change. If you’d like additional services with your account, you can also opt for a paid plan.
  • Register: To register, you’ll first need to enter your first name, last name, and email address. Then, read and agree to the terms of use and privacy policy. You’ll also need to verify your email address and create a password.
  • Provide Your Information: Next, enter the details about your company including the:
    • Legal business name
    • Year the business started
    • Employee count
    • Business description
    • Website
    • Phone number
    • Business structure
    • Principal name and title
    • Corporation ownership details
    • Business location(s)
    • Social profiles
    • Two business documents that verify the name and address
  • Wait For Your D-U-N-S Number: Once you provide all of the above information, you can click “Submit” to register. D-U-N-S requests can take up to 30 business days to process. You’ll receive an email once your number has been assigned. The email will show you how to log in to the D&B website, view your D-U-N-S Number, and monitor your business credit file.

What is a Good Dun and Bradstreet Business Credit Score?

This question is a bit tricky because Dun and Bradstreet has a variety of business credit scores that are measured in different ways. However, several scores range from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best score.

What is D&B ESG?

The Dun & Bradstreet company also offers Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Intelligence insights. In short, these help businesses assess and track how third parties rate in terms of ethics and sustainability. ESG insights are becoming a more important factor in business decisions as engaging with ethical companies has been shown to help boost performance, mitigate risk, and increase resiliency.

How to Raise Your Dun and Bradstreet Business Credit Score

If you check your business’s D&B credit report and are less than satisfied with your scores, look into the specific score that needs improving. In most cases, it comes down to paying your bills on time. If you’re behind on payments to lenders, vendors, or suppliers, focus on getting caught up.

Beyond that, other factors that can help to boost your scores include prioritizing the payment of larger invoices, limiting your credit inquiries, and resolving any outstanding liens or UCC filings. For newer businesses or newer management teams, it can just be a waiting game where you need to exhibit responsible financial behaviors over time.

Why is Building Business Credit Important?

Building business credit opens doors for companies. What kind of doors? Well, it can help you get approved for larger loans and credit lines at lower interest rates. It can also make your business a more attractive investment for potential investors or partners. Further, it can help you get better rates and terms from vendors and suppliers.

Overall, doing business is just easier when you have good business credit. It goes out ahead of you and tells everyone that you are trustworthy. However, D&B isn’t the only business credit report to keep tabs on — be sure to also check your business reports with Equifax and Experian!

About the author

Jessica Walrack

Written by Jessica Walrack

Jessica Walrack is a personal and business finance writer who has written hundreds of articles over the past eight years about loans, insurance, banking, mortgages, credit cards, budgeting, and all things credit. Her work has appeared on Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, The Balance, MSN Money, and Supermoney, among other publications. Her love of a good number breakdown and passion for making complex concepts easy to understand makes writing about finance a natural fit.

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