Updated: Feb 4
I tend to monitor my clients' corporate credit even more closely than my own, and I'd like to think I'm a pretty wise old bird... so imagine my surprise when I was recently caught flat-footed, accidentally discovering that D&B had created a duplicate DUNS number for my company! How could that possibly happen?!
I'll admit — by the mere nature of what I do and Covid's direct impact on small businesses — this pandemic has kept me busier than ever... helping business owners become eligible for federal funding, assisting people as they morphed from an over-impacted industry into something better, and mentoring frustrated entrepreneurs as they flipped bored unemployment into promising start-ups... resulting in one long, exhausting 12-to-14-hour-a-day that blurs into the next.
But one afternoon, while walking a business owner through the process of searching for her new company on D&B's website, I lazily typed my own business name into the search box and was astonished to find that D&B had created a duplicate DUNS number for Starpoint Credit Solutions — in Arizona (where we originally registered the business.)
Fortunately, I know the drill, so a hastily submitted support ticket was enough to fix the problem, but it lead me to the realization that it was time to reconnect with (and remind) all of you to take a few minutes to complete your
"Annual Business Credit Check-Up."
It's fast. It's easy. And it's crucial to safeguarding your business credit!
1) Check for Duplicate Files Many of the new work-from-home strategies and alternate banking options have accidentally resulted in duplicate DUNS numbers being created for small businesses. It's critical that you check D&B's database to make sure no new, alternate or duplicate DUNS numbers exist for your company.
Go to D&B's website
Type your company name into the search box at the top of the screen and watch as company names are generated below.
Check to make sure there is only one file for your business.
Make sure there are no other listings at old addresses, alternate addresses, mailing addresses, virtual offices, home offices, or misspelled listings.
If you find a potential duplicate, you can view that company's details by clicking on the business name.
If no other listings exist, you can click on the drop-down at the top-right of the screen to login to your existing service, or you can set up a new access if this is your first time.
If a duplicate file exists, you'll want to call in or submit a support ticket (see below) to have the files merged into one accurate credit profile under the original DUNS number.
2) Access Your D&B File
Over the past 18 months, a lot of things have changed at D&B, including the web address where you access your D&B file (three times this year!) As of this writing, the fastest way to access your existing paid or free service is:
Go to D&B's website
If you haven't updated your password in the past 90 days, you'll need to do so when you log in.
Once you log in, you will click on the "Small Business Solutions" tile to get to your Dashboard.
If you have access to a CreditSignal, CreditMonitor, or CreditBuilder, you can launch it from the Dashboard.
If you have access to the free DUNS Manager, you can access it here, but you may need to re-verify your identity to get in.
If you don't have access to the DUNS Manager, you can request access by searching for your business from within your CreditSignal, CreditMonitor, or CreditBuilder.
3) Review Company Details A crucial step in maintaining your corporate credit scores and ratings requires you to update or re-verify essential information about your company's operations, such as the employee count, SIC codes, address, phone, hours of operation, and social media platforms.
Access the DUNS Manager from your Dashboard to view and update the raw data
If you don't have access to the DUNS Manager yet, you can access it from within your CreditSignal or from D&B's website
The DUNS Manager is still the fastest means to view payment history and launch disputes on slow payments.
The DUNS Manager will also allow you to see filing numbers for UCC statements, liens, suits, and judgments. This will help you to find them in your state's system (which is where they need to be resolved.)
Remember... Payment history only stays in the D&B file for 24-28 months, so it may be time to get some of your more recent history added into your credit file. You'll need the CreditBuilder for that.
4) Submitting Updates
If you need to update specific corporate details that aren't accessible from within the DUNS Manager (such as your annual sales, new or updated principals, a new website URL, or adding alternate, branch or mailing addresses, etc.) you'll need to submit a support ticket.
PLEASE NOTE: You don't need to pay for a service to expedite updates to your D&B file.
5) I'm Here To Help
Visit the free D-I-Y Training Base to learn more about your business credit and ways you can boost your own scores and ratings at no charge.
Click-to-Chat while on my website to be connected to me instantly so you can get answers to your immediate questions RIGHT NOW at no charge.
Call 800-918-7505 (ext 2) if you would like to speak to me directly. (I am generally available Monday-Friday, 9 am to 6 pm daily, but Mondays are usually crazy busy and not a good day for long talks.)
Click HERE to schedule a free one-on-one consultation.
Email a copy of your D&B file to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a free in-depth assessment, including a one-on-one callback and a list of recommendations to boost your scores and ratings.
Please keep taking care of the health of those you love, but also keep this email handy to remind you to complete your Annual Business Credit Check-Up as soon as possible.