STEP 1  >  STEP 2  >  STEP 3  >  STEP 4  >  STEP 5

Step 1: Obtain a DUNS Number

Obtaining a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number is the first step in registering your organization with The instructions below describe DUNS and walk you through the process of acquiring a free DUNS number.

Purpose of DUNS

A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number used to identify your organization. The federal government uses this number to track how federal money is allocated.  

Before Registering for a DUNS Number

Does my organization already have a DUNS number? Most large organizations, libraries, colleges, and research universities already has a DUNS number. You should contact your grant administrator, financial department, chief financial officer, or authorizing official to identify your organization's DUNS number.

How to Register for a DUNS Number

If your organization does not yet have a DUNS number, or no one knows it, visit the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) website Click to View Exit Disclaimer or call 1-866-705-5711 to register or search for a DUNS number.

Registering for a DUNS number is free of charge, so if you encounter any organizations or websites soliciting a fee or charge to acquire a DUNS number it is likely a scam or fraudulent.

You will need all of the information listed below to obtain a DUNS number:

  • Name of organization
  • Organization address
  • Name of the chief executive officer (CEO) or organization owner
  • Legal structure of the organization (e.g., corporation, partnership, proprietorship)
  • Year the organization started
  • Primary type of business
  • Total number of employees (full and part-time)

NOTE: When obtaining a DUNS number, D&B places your organization on their marketing list that is sold to other companies. If you do not want your organization included on this marketing list, you should request not to be listed when you apply for a DUNS number.

How long does it take to obtain a DUNS number?

Allow up to two business days to obtain a DUNS number, but it can occur in one business day.

Information for Foreign Applicants

If your organization is located outside the United States, you can register for a DUNS number online. To register with D&B, you are not required to obtain a federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). When registering, simply leave the TIN/EIN information blank. However, anyone doing business with the federal government generally needs to obtain a TIN/EIN in order to meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax reporting requirements.

For eligibility information, check out the Are You Eligible? section of Learn Grants. For tax and TIN information, visit the IRS website and search for their most recent guidance for Aliens and International Taxpayers. You may also contact the Agency Point of Contact listed for the grant opportunity to get more information on a specific grant opportunity.


PROCEED TO STEP 2: Register with SAM

Get the Applicant User Guide

For a comprehensive resource that covers the registration, search, and apply processes, please download and refer to the Applicant User Guide.

Reach out and Get Help

Contact the Support Center to get help from a Contact Center Representative

Visit our Support page

Email us: