Why do I need a DUNS number to get my app in the app store?
The questions is simple: Why do I need a DUNS number to get my app in the app store? It seems like a simple question, but there isn’t much information about this online directly relating to this issue. According to the Small Business Association, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is a company that provides credit services for businesses in the United States. In essence, they determine your credit worth as a company as opposed to as a person.
Anyone who has tried to get their app uploaded to the Apple App Store has had 2 options. You can either register as a person (your real name), or register as a company (your desired name). I didn’t want to use my real name since I wanted to build a brand around AppDiggity, so I went with the company route. It turns out that this step is way more of a pain than I ever anticipated, with a drawn out timeline and unexpected fees. After filing all of the paperwork to start the business, I thought I was done. That is when I found out I needed a DUNS number.
With that being said, I went digging to find out what this DUNS number is and why I needed it. In short, a DUNS number holds you accountable for what you put out on the App Store. D&B pretty much monitors companies and decides how credible they are. This information is important to Apple because it helps them weed out scammers and spammers. For the most part, if you go through the trouble of starting a business and getting a DUNS number, you are less likely to do sketchy things on the App Store.
You have several options of obtaining a DUNS number. First of all, you have to have a business in the United States which is a process in itself. You can go to the D&B website and apply for one, or you can get one requested through the iOS Developer Program. I recommend the latter, since Apple has a template pretty much set up for you. Assuming you have an Apple ID, go to the iOS developer program website, click “enroll now”, sign in, and choose and choose “company/organization”. Enter all of your information as if you are going to sign up and it will ask you to “check” for your DUNS number. Fill out all of the information, and at the end it will tell you that they didn’t find your DUNS number on file (you already know this). It will automatically submit your company for a number, and you will be notified via email. Keep in mind that this process takes up to 14 business days.
In summary, why do I need a DUNS number to get my app in the app store? The DUNS number is put in place to ensure credibility. It helps Apple weed out the phonies from the people who have legitimate businesses. Since you are providing a product to customers (in this case an app), Apple wants to know who should be held accountable for the content provided. There are easy ways to get your DUNS number, but it can be time consuming. Happy coding everyone.