I am a young CEO and have a question for the forum members about DUNS numbers: Is there any practical difference between the free and pay versions offered by Dun & Bradstreet—is the $329 CreditBuilder a worthwhile purchase?
Our software company (Delaware C-Corp) started up a few months ago, and we closed our first big deal a few weeks ago. Our customer requested a D-U-N-S (Dun & Bradstreet number) from us, and we anticipate doing work with the US government directly or indirectly—the federal government requires DUNS number(s) from its contractors. I already know what a DUNS number is and how to get one within a day (thanks to googling), but it's not clear to me what advantage is conferred by paying Dun & Bradstreet for their "CreditBuilder" ($329) or "CreditBuilder Plus" ($599) programs. D&B claims that it is necessary to get at least the $329 CreditBuilder version so that they will "establish a credit file," but I would like to know the real-world practicality. The company manufactures software primarily distributed over the Internet; we're not a distributor or retailer so we do not anticipate purchasing a lot of capital inputs on credit beyond typical office space and the like.
Again, I have read all of the marketing hype from dnb.com as well as talked with D&B's customer service representatives. We are not in a crunch where we really need to build a line of credit, although like most small business owners I would like to stop personally guaranteeing the lines of credit of the corporation as soon as possible.
What I read from dnb.com is that the CreditBuilder program seems to provide:
"Expedited creation of a basic D&B credit file..."
"A basic set of D&B scores and ratings..."
"Access to your company's credit file..."
"D&B will build your basic D&B credit file, making your company eligible for a D&B Rating, Financial Stress Score and a Commercial Credit Score."
What does this mean? What happens if I do not pay for CreditBuilder and just get a DUNS number: does that just mean that D&B will create a credit file anyway but it will happen over time as creditors get paid and report the payment cycles?