How useful is the Dun & Bradstreet business credit rating?


Recently we received a letter from Dun & Bradstreet asking us to update our profile with them. Based on the information we received, they position themselves akin to Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian for the personal credit rating.

How useful is the D&B credit rating on the business level?

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asked Mar 29 '12 at 12:05
1,779 points

2 Answers


Waste of your time. D&B makes money off selling your information. I have run ops for 15 years and 6 companies. Been asked for my D&B maybe 3 times.
Moment you "update" your information, they will spam you as bad as BBB. Dinosaurs.

answered Mar 29 '12 at 13:12
Apollo Sinkevicius
3,323 points
  • I would agree with D&B themselves being useless. Unfortunately they have sunk their teeth into some other groups and forced usefulness. I used to do business in VA, and to get SWaM (Small, Women, and Minority) certifications you had to have a D&B number, course you didn't have to keep your info current if you didn't want to be spammed. – Justin C 11 years ago
  • On top - check whether it is relevant at ll. Runnin ga business 6 years, have 1 house bank and my private bank and no sorry, I have NO interest in taking a freaking high loan for anything. – Net Tecture 11 years ago


The utility of D&B depends on your business. If you are a tech startup in Silicon Valley odds are you will never have a use for D&B. However, if you are a startup in the DC area planning on doing business with the federal government, you will need D&B. The federal government requires all companies doing business with it to obtain a DUNS number (an ID number provided by D&B). If you want to do business with the federal government you will have to "get in bed" with D&B - there is no way around that. Then there are those startups that fall somewhere inbetween these two extremes.

How useful is the D&B rating on the business level?

As far as the D&B credit rating, it's useless. Most entities will make their own assessment of your company's credit worthiness. On top of that, as a startup, your personal credit rating and your business credit rating are intimately connected.

We received the same letter you received (or a similar one) from D&B. It stated:

Managing your business and personal credit separately can help protect you and your family from personal liability. When you put your own credit on the line for your company, you may be personally responsible for any payments your company is not able to make...

What they don't tell you is that as a startup with no credit history this is already happening. Most creditors will require that someone (usually an owner) personally guarantee the debt. This means that if the business can't repay the debt, the creditors can come after that person for the balance. You will be "personally responsible for any payments your company is not able to make" whether you pay for a D&B credit rating or not.
answered Apr 1 '12 at 08:57
Zuly Gonzalez
9,194 points

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