One of the driving forces that determine your ability to achieve business credit is the rating generated for your company by Dun & Bradstreet®, the world’s most trusted source for business credit data. Contrary to what most frustrated business owners believe, there is no mystery formula, no secret algorithm, and no personal influence being weighed to produce this deciding factor. Your D&B® rating is based upon information gathered about your business from the sources D&B® trusts. Primary among those sources, believe it or not, is you – as an active participant in your own business.
To better understand how you can impact your credit approvals, you first must participate in the ongoing management of your D&B® rating.
There is a never-ending flow of data between D&B® and various lenders, creditors, vendors, suppliers, government agencies, and business owners. This data will have a positive or negative impact on your various scores, overall composite credit appraisal, and your actual D&B® Rating. But there are ways that you can impact your rating, simply by providing “real-time” information about your company to D&B®. The lack of viable information is the main reason why a company will lose their rating or have it downgraded to the point where they can no longer achieve credit.
D&B® rates businesses in one of two ways, either by the input of a company’s financial statements into the public record, or by looking at your employee count and overall credit information they receive from others.
But first, let’s start with a brief overview of the various ratings we most often see…
NQ – This is an acronym for Not Quoted. This rating is generally assigned to a company if D&B® cannot verify a business is in active operations. When D&B® has repeatedly attempted to validate a company and cannot, they remove any and all information from the report and place an NQ rating to restrict any lender or creditor from having to pay to view a report that will provide absolutely no beneficial information to help determine creditworthiness.
DS – This is an acronym for Duns Support®, which basically means that D&B® can acknowledge that a company exists, but they do not have enough of the required information to be able to generate scores and a full rating. This is the most common rating we see when a company does not know a D&B®report was created for their company or have taken none of the necessary steps to fill their credit file with worthwhile data. Generally speaking, no credit will be established for a company with a DS rating.