Dun & Bradstreet - D&B

DEFINITION of 'Dun & Bradstreet - D&B'

Dun & Bradstreet is a corporation that offers information on commercial credit as well as reports on businesses. Most notably, Dun & Bradstreet is recognizable for its Data Universal Numbering System (D.U.N.S.) numbers; these generate business information reports for more than 100 million companies around the globe. Dun & Bradstreet was established as the result of a merger between R.G. Dun & Company and The Bradstreet Companies.

BREAKING DOWN 'Dun & Bradstreet - D&B'

Dun & Bradstreet has been a foundation for the way businesses function for more than 160 years. The company’s revolutionary D.U.N.S numbers are intricately linked to the categorization of businesses around the world. Dun & Bradstreet offers a number of other products and services and has continued to expanded since its founding. As of 2009, it is a global operator with more than 200 offices around the world, including Europe and Latin America. While the majority of Dun & Bradstreet’s products remain in print, the technological age has pushed the company’s products and services onto the Internet and beyond.

The History of Dun & Bradstreet

The formation of this company can be linked back to 1841 when Lewis Tappan established the Mercantile Agency in New York City. Tappan handed the reins of the company to Benjamin Douglass in the later part of the decade. The company was reincorporated under the name R.G. Dun & Company in 1859 when Robert Graham Dun purchased it. In 1931, the company purchased the National Credit Office and was reorganized, becoming R.G. Dun & Corporation.

John Bradstreet formulated and established The Bradstreet Company in Cincinnati in 1849. The company published the first ever book of commercial ratings a few years later in 1851 and made the use of credit ratings popular. Bradstreet moved his company to New York in 1855.

In 1933, negotiations between the two companies began over the idea of a merger. After one month of discussions, the merger took place. The Wall Street Journal published a notification of the merger and indicated the newly formed company would be operating under the name R.G. Dun-Bradstreet, changed to Dun & Bradstreet Inc. in 1939. As part of a rebranding campaign, the company officially changed its name to D&B in 2001.

Data Universal Numbering System

The DUNS numbering system was introduced by the company in 1963, and started as a seven-digit code assigned to companies as a form of classification. In 1964, D&B published a code book with the individual codes of all of the companies that had received them and continued this until 1968. These numbers made an appearance, for the first time, in the Million Dollar Directory in 1969.

In 2016, the DUNS system is composed of nine digits and is assigned to every business location in the D&B database. Each of the digits has a unique and distinct operation that identifies each specific business. The number is assigned randomly.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Business Starts Index

    A compilation of statistics published by Dun & Bradstreet ...
  2. Credit Reporting Agency

    This term refers to businesses that maintain historical information ...
  3. Business Credit Score

    A number indicating whether a company is a good candidate to ...
  4. Moody's

    An independent, unaffiliated research company that rates fixed ...
  5. Mergers And Acquisitions - M&A

    A general term used to refer to the consolidation of companies. ...
  6. Merger Arbitrage

    A hedge fund strategy in which the stocks of two merging companies ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    The Debt Report: The Industrials Sector

    Discover how industrial companies in the United States have added more debt since the Great Recession, which could spell trouble if interest rates rise.
  2. Personal Finance

    10 Things You Should Know About 1099s

    Independent contractors receive 1099 forms, rather than W-2s, as a record of income earned. Here are 10 important things to know about 1099 forms.
  3. Personal Finance

    Business Vs. Consumer Credit Reports: What's the Difference?

    Find out the difference between a business credit report and a personal credit report, and why it should matter for business owners.
  4. Investing

    The Basics Of Financing A Business

    From debt financing to equity financing, there are numerous ways to fund a business startup. But which is the best?
  5. Investing

    The Merger - What To Do When Companies Converge

    Learn how to invest in companies before, during and after they join together.
  6. Investing

    The Merger: What To Do When Companies Converge

    Mergers occur when it’s beneficial for two companies to combine business operations. The question is; if you’re invested in a company that’s involved in a merger, will it benefit you?
  7. Investing

    Reverse Mergers: The Pros And Cons

    Reverse mergers can provide excellent opportunities for companies and investors, but there are still some downsides and risks.
  8. Investing

    Mergers and Acquisitions: Why They Can Fail

    It's no secret that plenty of mergers don't work. Those who advocate mergers will argue that the merger will cut costs or boost revenues by more than enough to justify the price premium. It ...
  9. Retirement

    Why You Shouldn't Bet on Defined Benefit Plans

    Defined benefit plans were once a easy, safe way for workers to save for retirement. Too bad their massive obligations have made them expendable.
  10. Investing

    What's a Merger?

    Mergers are not the same as acquisitions. In an acquisition, one company buys and subsumes another company, leaving only the buyer in place. In most mergers, both companies merge to form an entirely ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between a merger and an acquisition?

    Learn about the difference between mergers and acquisitions. Discover what factors may encourage a company to merge or acquire ... Read Answer >>
  2. Why are the terms 'merger' and 'acquisition' always used together if they describe ...

    Learn about mergers and acquisitions and how these two corporate actions differ based on the size and participation of the ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why would a company do a reverse merger instead of an IPO?

    Reverse mergers are often the most expedient and cost-efficient way for private companies that hold shares that are not available ... Read Answer >>
  4. How does a merger affect the customer?

    Learn how a merger may affect customers of the industry. The effects of mergers may be positive or negative, but there's ... Read Answer >>
  5. How should I analyze a company's financial statements?

    Discover how investors and analysts use a company’s financial statements to evaluate a company's financial health and investment ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why do companies merge with or acquire other companies?

    Some of the reasons for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) include:1. Synergy: The most used word in M&A is synergy, ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Brazil, Russia, India And China - BRIC

    An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. It has been speculated that by 2050 these four ...
  2. Brexit

    The Brexit, an abbreviation of "British exit" that mirrors the term Grexit, refers to the possibility of Britain's withdrawal ...
  3. Underweight

    1. A situation where a portfolio does not hold a sufficient amount of a particular security when compared to the security's ...
  4. Russell 3000 Index

    A market capitalization weighted equity index maintained by the Russell Investment Group that seeks to be a benchmark of ...
  5. Enterprise Value (EV)

    A measure of a company's value, often used as an alternative to straightforward market capitalization. Enterprise value is ...
  6. Security

    A financial instrument that represents an ownership position in a publicly-traded corporation (stock), a creditor relationship ...
Trading Center