DUNS Number Requirement

The federal government requires organizations to provide a DUNS number on their grant applications. As a recipient of federal funding, the Tennessee Arts Commission also requires DUNS numbers on all grant applications from organizations. Applicants who have not already done so must register with Dun and Bradstreet (D & B) to be issued a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number. There is no fee for registering for a DUNS number.

What is a DUNS number? 

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is a company that provides business information for credit, marketing, and purchasing decisions. Its “data universal numbering system,” known as DUNS, issues unique 9-digit numbers that are used by businesses and the federal government to keep track of more than 70 million businesses world-wide. Because a DUNS number is specific to a physical location, some entities such as states, public school districts and universities will have several DUNS numbers, for example “DUNS + 4,” used to identify specific units within a larger entity.

Why does my organization have to provide it? 

The federal government’s Office of Management & Budget uses DUNS numbers to track how federal grant money is awarded and dispersed. A percentage of the Tennessee Arts’ Commission’s grant money is federal, thus TAC requires DUNS numbers, too.

Do all grant applications have to have a DUNS number? 

All organizational applicants are required to provide their DUNS number. Individuals are exempt.

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. Organizations applying to the National Endowment for the Arts have been required to have a DUNS number since October 1, 2003. Most Universities and colleges, state entities and large organizations already have DUNS numbers.

If you aren’t sure if your organization has a DUNS number, or if so, what it is, go here to search.

If you do not have a DUNS number, apply by using this website:

Is there a fee for registering for a DUNS number? 

No. D&B does not charge a fee, and you are not obligated to purchase any of their products.

How do I get a DUNS number? 

Applications are no longer accepted over the phone. To apply for a DUNS number, go to this website: and click onto D-U-N-S NUMBER. Scroll down to “Get a D&B D-U-N-S Number.” Click onto “Get a D-U-N-S number.” For best compatibility, applicants should use either Firefox or Internet Explorer, and turn off any pop-ups for best results with the application. The D&B website will ask for the information listed below, after which you will be assigned a number, free of charge. An authorizing official (i.e., executive director or chair of the board) of the organization should fill out this request. It may take up to 30 days to receive the DUNS number after applying on the website, so be sure to give yourself enough time to do this before your grant application deadline.
• Legal Name of organization
• Headquarters name (if different from Legal Name) and address for your organization
• Doing business as (DBA) or other name by which your organization is commonly known or recognized (if exists)
• Physical address: city, state, zip code
• Mailing address (if separate from headquarters and/or physical address)
• Telephone number
• Contact name and title
• Number of employees at your physical location