Question: What is the D&B® Rating?
Answer: The D&B Rating combines a company’s size and its balance sheet information (the company’s assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity), and uses it to create an overall rating for the business’s creditworthiness. This score can help viewers make sense of all the information in a business credit report by giving an overall indication of a company’s credibility. Other businesses might look at your D&B Rating to gain insight into your company’s size, financial strength, and overall creditworthiness.
How is my D&B Rating Calculated?
The D&B Rating is made up of two parts: the Rating Classification and the Composite Credit Appraisal.
The Rating Classification is a combination of numbers and letters that reflect a business’s size based on worth or equity. It is only assigned if a business has supplied Dun & Bradstreet with a current financial statement. At the upper-end of the spectrum, a 5A rating represents a business with a net worth of $50 million or more. Companies with a net worth under $5,000 – the minimum for this classification – are labeled HH.
The Composite Credit Appraisal is a number ranging from 1-4 that indicates a company’s overall creditworthiness, with 1 representing the most creditworthy businesses. This number is based on information routinely collected by Dun & Bradstreet, including payment history, financial information, public records, years in operation, and other factors. Note that 2 is the highest score attainable for a company that does not submit financial details to Dun & Bradstreet.
A change in the D&B Rating can be caused by the following:
- Submitting revised financial information
- A change in the speed of payments to suppliers
- An increase in borrowing
- Concerns about contingencies from lawsuits
Business owners who do not submit financial information may want to consider it as one way to help impact their Composite Credit Appraisal.
What can I do to help ensure that my D&B Rating accurately represents my business?
One of the most important things a business owner can do is maintain good relationships with suppliers. Paying invoices on time (or early) can go a long way toward impacting scores and ratings. Other things to consider include:
- Working with lenders that report to credit bureaus
- Submitting financial information to Dun & Bradstreet
- Making sure public records are accurate
- Monitoring changes to your business credit file so that you can react accordingly