How to Read a Dun & Bradstreet Report

by Deborah Waltenburg; Updated September 26, 2017

Dun & Bradstreet is a well-known company whose focus is on providing information and ratings about businesses worldwide. Much like the information you receive when ordering a personal credit report, a D&B report offers a detailed snapshot of a company's financial and credit history. These reports help business owners manage risk and increase profit margins. Read on to find out how to read a Dun & Bradstreet report.

Deciphering D&B; Report Information

Step 1

Use a D&B report as part of a total picture of a company's condition. Sometimes certain information may not be completely current or may be missing altogether, because certain pieces of information are not made available on D&B reports unless purchased separately. The Business Information Report provides very basic information, while the Comprehensive Report provides a detailed overview.

Step 2

Review the Business Summary (1st section). This section includes the business name, address, SIC code (used to identify the type of business) and DUNS number.

Step 3

Read the Executive Summary to learn about the company's Financial Stress Class and Credit Score Class ratings. You will also find basic information about the company's sales, net worth and financial stability within its industry.

Step 4

Get further information about the Financial Stress and Credit Capacity in those two sections. Information about credit, working capital and a more in-depth explanation of the Financial Stress score are given. These sections allow you to determine how a company compares to others in the same industry and how they manage their money and use their credit.

Step 5

Read the Credit Score Summary and Payment Trends and Summary of Payment Habits sections to learn more about a company's credit habits. You can determine whether they pay bills on time or late, how they compare within their industry and the amount of credit that has been extended to them.

Step 6

Read the Public Filings Summary and Detail to learn about any legal actions that are pending or have taken place for the company. This includes liens, bankruptcy filings and lawsuits.

Step 7

Look over the Business Background and Banking Relationships Revealed sections to learn more about the company, what it does, how it operates and who it works with for financing.

Step 8

Read the Financial Summary for a complete look into a company's financial picture. This sections provides an overview of industry norms as well as the company's financial statement, earnings, expenses, profit and other figures that indicate the strength of the company in question.

Tips

  • The D&B Report provides numbers and statistics, but not detailed opinions or facts surrounding the information.

References

About the Author

Based in Ohio, Deborah Waltenburg has been writing online since 2004, focusing on personal finance, personal and commercial insurance, travel and tourism, home improvement and gardening. Her work has appeared on numerous blogs, industry websites and media websites, including "USA Today."