Plan ahead! All organizations applying to the Virginia Commission for the Arts are required to provide a DUNS number. Do you have a DUNS number? What is a DUNS Number and how do you get one?

What is a DUNS number?
The DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number is a unique nine character identification number widely used by both commercial and federal entities. It was adopted as the standard business identifier for federal electronic commerce in October, 1994.

Why do I need it?
The Virginia Commission for the Arts began requiring a DUNS number on all grant applications in 2014. It is required for grant applications on the federal level and for any grant VCA issues that includes National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) dollars.

Is there any other reason to have a DUNS number?
Organizations with DUNS numbers are included in a nationwide study of nonprofit and for-profit arts-related businesses called Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts. This report produced by the Americans for the Arts provides a valuable visibility and advocacy tool for advancing the arts. This report includes all of the Virginia counties, US House and Senate legislative districts and specifies the number of arts businesses and the people they employ in each district. By having a DUNS number, your organization is included in this nationwide study.

How do I find out if my organization already has a DUNS number?
Your executive director, business manager, board treasurer, or accountant is likely to know and be able to provide your organization’s DUNS number if you already have one. Universities and most colleges, State entities and large organizations also are likely to already have DUNS numbers. If you aren’t sure, ask the D&B operator when you call to get one (see phone number below).

How do I get a DUNS Number?
DUNS numbers are provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). An authorizing official of the organization, not a project director, should request a DUNS number. If you do not have a DUNS number, you can request one by phone or online.

Phone: Call D&B at 866-705-5711. You are seeking an option for a state grantee (you are not required to have a CFDA number). You should receive your DUNS number by the end of the call.
Online: Submit your web request at fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Online requests typically take 24 hours to process.

Is there a fee for registering for a DUNS number?
No. D&B should not charge you a fee. You are also not obligated to purchase any of their products.

What information will I need to provide?

  • Legal Name
  • “Tradestyle” which is your doing business as (DBA)or alternate name by which your organization is commonly recognized
  • Physical address, city, state and zip code
  • Mailing address (if different)
  • Telephone number
  • Contact name
  • SIC Code (Standard Industrial Classification code) (Note: Most applicant organizations will fall within the “Division I: Services” category)
  • Number of employees at your location
  • Headquarters name and address (if there is a reporting relationship to a parent corporate entity)

A word of advice:
As a result of obtaining a DUNS number you might be included on D&B’s marketing list that is sold to other companies. If you do not want your name/company included on this marketing list, you may request that D&B remove your name from the list.