DUNS Numbers and Grantmaking

About DUNS Numbers

What is a DUNS Number and Why do You Need It?

Starting April 4, 2022, the DUNS system will be replaced in federal grantmaking. Learn more here.


The DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number is a nine-digit identification number widely used by both commercial and federal entities. It is assigned by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), an organization that keeps track of more than 200 million businesses world-wide.

DUNS numbers are required for all federal grant applications, including The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Since Mid-America re-grants federal funds, it is now a requirement for all M-AAA’s applications as well.

Organizations with DUNS numbers are automatically included in a nationwide study of nonprofit and for-profit arts-related businesses called Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts. This report is produced by Americans for the Arts and provides valuable visibility as an advocacy tool for advancing the arts. It documents the number of arts-related businesses and employees in any geographical region or political jurisdiction.

Check if Your Organization has a DUNS Number

To check if your organization has a DUNS Number you can search for your organization’s name in the Dun & Bradstreet database online. An email confirming your DUNS number can be requested if one is found in the D&B system.

How to Apply for a DUNS Number

If your organization does not have a DUNS number, one can be requested at no cost by phone or online.

By Phone

Call D&B at 866-705-5711 and tell the operator that you are applying to a federal grant program and need to register for a DUNS number. The process will take about ten minutes.


Submit your web request. Online requests typically take 1–2 business days to process. You will be asked to provide:

  • Legal name of your organization
  • Contact information
  • Name of authorizing official (e.g. director, president)
  • Number of employees at your location
  • Purpose of your organization
  • Headquarters name and address (if there is a reporting relationship to a parent corporate entity)
  • Your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code. The SIC refers to the type of organization or art-form (e.g., arts council, ballet company, or actress).