Founder Stories
June 12, 2024
min read

How to Get Your DUNS Number for Free: A Quick Guide

Olaf Jacobson
Founder & Business Development, Soon

How to Get Your DUNS Number for Free: A Quick Guide

If you're an international business owner, you might find yourself needing a DUNS number. Here's a quick and easy guide to help you get one for free, based on my recent experience.

What is a D-U-N-S Number?

A DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) is a unique, nine-digit identifier for business entities. Dun & Bradstreet created it in 1963 to streamline business credit reporting.

When Would You Need It?

I recently needed a DUNS number to update a payout profile for selling on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

The Catch

Microsoft states that you can get it for free and points to a website. However, this site is managed by Google and redirects international users to local partners. For those of us in the Netherlands 🇳🇱, that means Altares.

The Dutch Dilemma

As a frugal Dutch founder, I don’t like paying for something I was told would be free—especially when it's just a number Microsoft wants for some vague reason.

The Response from Altares

After reaching out to Altares, here's the gist of their response:

  • Google offers free DUNS numbers for US companies.
  • International users are redirected to local partners.
  • Altares charges a small fee (EUR 15 excl. TAX) for the DUNS number to cover database maintenance costs.

Microsoft's Stance

When I contacted Microsoft, they insisted that I needed the DUNS number, even though it appears optional in their portal.

The Solution

The Google-managed site wasn’t helpful. But a quick Google search revealed that Apple has a site for developers where you can get your DUNS number for free!

Steps to Get Your Free DUNS Number from Apple:

  1. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Check your email for your DUNS number.

Thanks, Apple! 🍏

Why I Wrote This

Figuring this out cost me a lot of time—probably more than €15 worth 🤣. I hope sharing it here saves the next person some time and money.


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