Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) is the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses.
Their history began in 1841, when an enterprising businessman named Lewis Tappan started to establish a network of correspondents that would function as a source of reliable, consistent and objective credit information. His Mercantile Agency, located in New York City, was one of the first organizations formed for the sole purpose of providing business information to customers.
To help American merchants in their decision-making, an enterprising businessman named Lewis Tappan began, in 1841, to establish a network of correspondents that would function as a source of reliable, consistent and objective credit information. His Mercantile Agency, located in New York City, was one of the first organizations formed for the sole purpose of providing business information to customers.
Benjamin Douglass enters the business.
To foster expansion, in 1849 Tappan turned the Agency over to Benjamin Douglass, a former clerk.
Among the reporters who went on to establish names for themselves were four U.S. presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland and William McKinley.
A strong competitor – and a new name.
In 1849, the rival John M. Bradstreet Company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio. Two years later, the Bradstreet organization popularized the use of credit ratings with publication of the first book of commercial ratings. The rivalry between The John M. Bradstreet Company and Douglass' agency intensified as the U.S. entered the 20th century. Fundamentally, this had lasting effects on the fate of the two organizations.
In 1859, Douglass turned over the Agency to his brother-in-law, Robert Graham Dun. Under the new name, R.G. Dun & Company, Dun continued Douglass' relentless expansion.
A Historic Merger
As America entered the 1930's, the effects of rivalry and economic depression on both R.G. Dun and The Bradstreet Companies could no longer be ignored. In 1933, the arch competitors merged to form Dun & Bradstreet.
In 1963, the introduction of the Data Universal Numbering System – The D&B D-U-N-S® Number – to identify businesses numerically for data-processing purposes helped bring business information into the computer age.
250 Million Business Records … and Counting
D&B is constantly expanding the size and improving the quality of our global database. In late 2015, the global database exceeded 250 million businesses worldwide.