For what it's worth, I was sent the URL above on a wink wink hush hush basis by a large EV SSL certificate issuer. We needed a cert for our non-US company, but they wanted a DUNS number. Nobody outside the US actually uses DUNS numbers (I don't care what D&B says). So yeah, that URL gives you a DUNS number for free within 1 business day, paid for by the US Government.
As far as I can recall I think all UK Ltd's get a DUNs number automatically?
They're not the only ones though.
Long time ago when I applied for a merchant account for my startup, I was asked for a DUNS number, I and decided to get one. After filling out online application, and a long wait, I got it, and started to put it everywhere where I was asked for it. I don't think DUNS did any check on my company before giving the number to me, and I couldn't see what's on my profile, since I never paid them. Anyway, I got my merchant account.
After several years in startup operation when I tried to raise some capital, one of potential investors told me that with such bad credit history for my company, I will not be able to raise any capital. I asked him where he checked my company's credit history, and he told me that he checked on D&B. I told him that I can't check myself, and I can't see what is the problem, and after he emailed me my report from D&B, and was in shock after I read it :) Report is broken down in many sections, and my report was something linke this:
Partnerships in the industry: None
Bank accounts: None
And so on... And so on... At the the end of the report:
Credit level: $800
:) and we were doing like 300K in revenues already, growing fast, and didn't even expected that people trusting them and looking up info on companies there.
I decided to become a good D&B citizen, since so many people trust them. So, I called them up, and asked why information about my company is so wrong there, and they told me that I need to pay, and they will "fix" my profile. After paying, and sending them a list of industry partners, IRS reports, and started to wait.
After few months, I called them up, and they told me that they tried to call my partners from my list, and no one was able to confirm that they work with me.
Anyway, when I realized that my profile will never be in a good standing, I asked them to take it down completely, and remove my company from their database. After talking, to one supervisor, and them to the other, they agree to take it down.
But the final funny part, is that when I checked my profile online, it stated that "CEO called and reported that company is closing down" :)))
The process that takes a month can be done over the phone or online but frequently D&B simply stops processing mid-correction and abandons the update. The process will be abandoned silently for a couple weeks, then you'll get calls offering once again to update for a fee.
It took me three months to register with Apple. And that was for an ordinary plain vanilla US domestic corporation.
3 calls to Apple - all good, quality support, but basically the ball was always placed in D&B’s court . That was ~10 calls to D&B all of which were horrible. Definitely hang up and call again when told to call again told something can’t be done in the system - It obviously can be if Apple demands that it to be done.
The month lag time for changes is the real killer - particular when D&B always says everything is fine.
One of the more fun incidents was when they altered the corporation to my personal name, as a sole proprietor after I’d called to get the LLC added to the end of the Corp’s name. Of course I didn’t find out for a month, as they claimed they’d done exactly what I’d wanted, and their web UI’s been broken for us ½ the time.
That incident is permanently in the corporate history now as though it really happened. Not worth fixing though.
Now I'm idling because you need to signup separately for iTunes Connect. After 5x times getting the same error ("Your Apple ID isn't authorized for iTunes Connect"), I contacted Appple Dev Support. Their response: iTunes Connect is down for scheduled maintenance thru Dec. 28th. Uh, then why didn't the error message say that? Or a sidebar? Or alert?
Definitely feels like I'm in One Infinite Loop
I was then able to register for an Apple iOS Enterprise account (in addition to a normal Business account) in a little over a week (and it only took that long because I missed an e-mail from them where they asked me to call them and finish the process: I probably would have had it done in four days).
Was there something particularly onerous or even simply "out of the ordinary" about the kinds of changes you were making? There seem to be a lot of horror stories posted here about this process, but that isn't everyone's experience, so I'm hoping to find out if it is just "they are highly variable, so it's like hitting the lottery" or if there are specific things people might hit that are hopefully-avoidable landmines in the process.
(BTW, I highly recommend, totally unrelated to this thread, jonhendry's comment below re the goal of D&B.)
I explained the full process at http://blog.metamorphium.com/2012/12/03/apple-duns/
It's sad that this whole process isn't more transparent and easy though.
When I opened a business membership in early 2011, I only needed to send Apple the incorporation certificate from my secretary of state. It took a week for Apple to process it, if that long.
Confirmo o recebimento do formulário preenchido.
Em 60 dias úteis o duns number será disponibilizado.
Make it a Great Day!
Dun & Bradstreet do Brasil Ltda.
I made a formal complaint to authorities about this.
It's certainly not illegal for a company to set criteria for which suppliers it will do business with: for example, "we'll only work with ISO9001 certified companies". Is this any different?
I'd be interested to hear more about why this practice is illegal in Brazil, especially as you say it could lead to a prison sentence (which seems odd for what should be a civil case). Is there case law or statute available for someone interested in such things to browse?
> Most economists now would agree on three fundamentals. First, tying is a pervasive practice that, in many instances, gives rise to substantial efficiencies, particularly when it takes the form of product integration. Second, the circumstances in which tying would lead to anticompetitive effects are very restricted. And third, not only are those conditions hard to verify, but also any attempt to balance efficiency gains against possible anticompetitive effects will prove a complex exercise.
Like a selling a laptop with a mouse included.
Apple wants a DUNS number because they are taking on some fraud risk and want a company identifier for credit history and to reduce the risk they are dealing with scammers. Seems pretty reasonable.
Edit: someone would go to jail after not complying with some court order. Example: google VP in brazil went to jail earlier this year for not taking down a youtube video. Those orders may come way before an actual trial
It's something of an entrenched international standard. Most likely nobody wants to have to deal with multiple database companies, or a competing database with big gaps in its coverage compared to DNB.
At least it's free, even if they attempt to charge a premium for faster service.
Apple does not sell DUNS numbers, as they are not Dun & Bradstreet.
It also mentioned the anticompetitive nature of tying a weak/new product to a stronger one. DUNS numbers are not new or esoteric (although I do think of them as being old-fashioned and enterprisey).
So, I struggle with the notion that this could be illegal, but I'd be fascinated to learn more about it.
Sure is developer hostile and counter-productive, though.
The answer is: yes. The only way this is not tying is by bundling the service: apple would provide the number for you without charging.
But then, D&B competitors could say this is a trust case.
To really solve this apple must offer a list of companies that offer the solution for whatever numbering problem they seem to have. Or just drop the requirement.
The number itself isn't the issue, it's what it represents: that your business is recorded in a large and reputable database of international businesses that is in widespread use by companies and governments.
In fact, S&P and Moody's are the only ratings/registry that can get you anywhere in the banking system.
> While we were ready to submit Trifecta at the beginning of November, we ran into issues due to how hard Apple makes it for a pair of developers to release an app together. To do so and have both of us credited we had to form a company (R&K Labs) and obtain a D.U.N.s number which took us a month.
I registered on iupdate.dnb.com and only paid $50 to expedite the request for a DUNS number. The entire process was complete in a week and we were approved by Apple.
I finally got fed up and sent this tweet: https://twitter.com/sjsivak/status/276826269377765376. They called me the next morning and fixed it that day.
There is no excuse for the US Gov not having an updated registry of all companies in the country. In fact, I'm pretty sure IRS should have that. So, why the hell is that number required anyways? Even if the number is somehow necessary, Why d&b? Was there an auction at least? I doubt it.
I'm surprised that sometimes americans accept that kind of crap from their Government (executive) and large corporations (apple) without using Judiciary services. You don't always need money and/or lawyers to protect yourself from your government.
Because it's the biggest database, and is international in scope. A local company providing services to a US Embassy or military base overseas is probably in the DUNS database, but probably wouldn't be in a smaller or US-focused database.
DUNS numbers are a common requirement when doing business or dealing with government for loans or contracts. That's why D&B has 150 million companies in their database.
Established businesses aren't going to have any hardship with Apple's requirement or the government's requirement, because they already have a DUNS number.
The only people for whom this is a problem are people just starting up app store-based businesses. But those are relatively few in the grand scheme of things, compared to the overall number of businesses getting DUNS numbers all the time.
But at least it's free, and mostly a one-time process, unlike getting your app submissions approved, or dealing with signing issues, or app guideline changes, etc.
I created my own company a while ago to sell mobile apps. You just print out form LLC-1 and form LLC-12 and mail them in, and you're done. Then just remember to pay taxes every year (or quarter), and nobody asks questions. Seriously, I could have claimed to be Ronald McDonald living on 1 Cheeseburger Avenue on those forms and I don't think they would have noticed (except it might have been harder for them to mail me the one piece of mail they did send). (I later dissolved the company after I lost interest in mobile apps.)
I assume that D&B makes at least a token effort to verify that you are a real person and actually sell something. USGov... doesn't.
By the way, please don't take my comments about how to create an LLC as legal advice. If you're serious about forming a company, you probably should consult a professional.
... and got my DUNS number emailed to me within 15 minutes.
Worth a try?
Apple's Company Registration for its App Store is awkward and awful
Just move the apostrophe ahead. </grammar_nazi>
Is it just me or do others also have the impression that it's mostly native speakers doing this incorrectly? Or are there some schools/conventions/… where "it's" is correct or at least an acceptable alternative?
Non-native speakers, on the other hand, learn the language informally, and they learn it spoken long before they learn it written. Really formal education in the language doesn't start until they're generally fluent. Thus you get mistakes like its/it's and your/you're and their/there/they're. Native speakers grew up with these as single words (it's all based on sound, after all!) and only later had to learn to distinguish them. Non-native speakers, on the other hand, were exposed to them as separate words from the start, and so don't typically mix them up.
I tend to blame this on the fact that, at the beginning, speech was less natural than writing (I was writing scientific articles before moving to the US) and I made several non-native-speaker mistakes (rape/grate and he/she) in writing. Now I am making fewer of these but increasingly more of the "it's/its" type, possibly due to speech becoming more of a natural act and therefore driving my writing. Because "it's" and "its" sound the same, I might overlook it in writing too. "Should of" and "should have" seem to fit in this case as well.
[Edit: last sentence]
Answer: No, no one considers it correct, and if they do, they shouldn't!
I would like to mention that it always seems a bit dickish when someone bothers commenting saying 'hurr durr there's supposed to be an apostrophe here', no one knows if the author has dyslexia, or if he is in fact a native speaker (Legally, our native language isn't English btw, most people are only English speakers, but there is a tiny minority who aren't).
Whenever you get a call from TDB it is both scary and exciting because you know that some major Japanese corporation wants data on your current standing.
Also, registering for a DUNS number here in Japan is very simple because most of the information that they are after is already filed with the government in an easy to access format.
Just call DBH, give them your company registration number, and they'll give you a DUNS number, or so it seems.
and that beast you cant fight back just with GPL licenses and free/open software.. this beast is cool and people love it.. :/
We have a live app in the US app store, charge money for it, etc., and have never been asked for a DUNS, though I did note it was one of the requirements for an Apple enterprise developer account -- which we obviously don't have.
It seems like it takes time and hassle to get, and also like it could come up unexpectedly. Worth the trouble to start the ball rolling now?
I don't know why Apple makes getting an account so difficult.... Perhaps to filter out fly bynight mobile app developers?
The first time you really will need an Apple ID is when you go download an App from the App Store (which will be soon enough :)). There also, if you choose an App which is free (like facebook) and you try to download, you will be prompted with a No Payment option to associate with your Apple ID which can can use to downlaod anything. The first time you buy something is when you will need payment information (credit card billing address etc.)
I just got off the phone after failing to find my company in their online database, and was told to email email@example.com to request my number.
I used the free option too - you have to scour the UK site for it, but its all there, and it was quick (in November anyway)
I have a company, which is filed as an LLC in Delaware, that has a DUNS number just through D&B doing their work. We have been around for over a year, so they must have picked us up at some point. However, all of the information was incomplete - they didnt know we were an LLC, who owned the company, etc etc.
This meant that when I tried to apply for a Company iOS Dev license, I hit the same problem you did. Apple's background check (done through D&B/DUNS), totally failed, and I was black listed.
I called Apple, they told me to sign up as an individual, and then do my work there while I update my DUNS information, at iupdate.dnb.com. Currently, I'm waiting the 15 days after updating to re-apply for Apple's business dev account, while the databases get in sync.
You DO NOT need to pay for a DUNs number, however, they obviously want to upsell you for expedited service. I wouldn't do it. They get paid a healthy sum from Apple every year, and you are not their client, Apple is.
Try to do whatever you are doing as an individual developer, get a hold of the DUNS number/update info, and ask Apple to upgrade your account after the fact.
Best of luck
Specially for non-US companies, I'd say.