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Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a D-U-N-S number?
D-U-N-S stands for "Data Universal Numbering System," a coding method developed by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) to track businesses in their database. In order to be counted in the D&B database, you must have a D-U-N-S number. Read more details about the D-U-N-S number and our data collection methodology.
- Who should sign up for a D-U-N-S number?
Individual artists and arts organizations should register for a D-U-N-S number.
- Why should I register for a D-U-N-S number?
There are two reasons why it is important for all of the nation’s artists and arts organizations to secure a D-U-N-S number.
- First, registering for a D-U-N-S number makes you eligible for grants. The Federal government has recently enacted a new policy that requires all grantees and contractors to provide a D-U-N-S number as part of their grant applications and proposals, and many state and local arts agencies are doing the same. Thus, even to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, for example, you need a DUNS number.
- Second, Americans for the Arts has developed a powerful geo-political advocacy tool—the Creative Industries project—that uses the D-U-N-S number to identify each for-profit and nonprofit arts-related business in the country. The more accurate the information is, the more successful our combined efforts to increase awareness of the national scope of the arts industry will be.
- How do I register/update by my business profile?
Americans for the Arts strongly encourages you to register online. You can do so by visiting the Dun & Bradstreet website. For step-by-step instructions on how to register, view our instructions for registering with Dun & Bradstreet.
- How long does it take to apply for a D-U-N-S number?
The online form takes only minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive your D-U-N-S number via email in as few as 5 business days.
- What if I already have a D-U-N-S number?
If you have a D-U-N-S number, you should update your business profile periodically to assure that it is as accurate as possible. For step-by-step instructions on how to update your business profile, view our directions for updating your business profile.
- Why should I update my business profile?
If your business profile has changed in the past year (e.g. change in number of employees) then you should update your information to ensure that your account profile is as accurate as possible. We have found that some of the arts organizations that already have a D-U-N-S number are associated with incorrect, non-arts SIC codes in the D&B database. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are correctly coded in the D&B database. Fortunately, it is a simple process that takes only minutes to complete.
- When should I register/update my profile?
Complete your online registration/account update D&B by December 31 of each year. Americans for the Arts downloads data from D&B at the beginning of each calendar year. If you aren’t registered or updated by the end of the year, you won’t be tracked accurately in the yearly update. If you plan to apply for a grant that requires a D-U-N-S number, give yourself enough time to sign up and receive it.
- Does it cost anything to register for a D-U-N-S number?
Nope, registering for and updating your D-U-N-S number is completely free.
- Why doesn’t D&B know about Americans for the Arts or Sign Up and Be Counted when I call them?
The Sign Up and Be Counted campaign is solely run by Americans for the Arts. We do not have a contract with D&B to provide D-U-N-S numbers to all arts organizations.