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The CUSIP number, formally known as the Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures number, is a unique series of nine characters assigned to your business for the purpose of identifying your business on the stock market. The first six characters in the set are the ones that actually identify your company. The last character in the series is a check digit. The remaining two characters indicate the type of issue.
In order to acquire a CUSIP number, you have to apply through Standard & Poor's CUSIP Service Bureau, which oversees the issuance of these numbers for the American Bankers Association. Many companies choose to acquire this number with the help of a consultant or attorney who specializes in this service. This is due in part to ensure that proper documentation is sent with the application and to ensure the application is completed properly.
Once your company is issued a CUSIP number, it becomes proprietary information. Some companies choose to display the number as a show of transparency; however, other companies choose to keep the number private. Be sure to seek legal advice to help you make the right decision for your company.
Whether you choose to apply for a CUSIP number yourself or through a consultant, Business.com offers a plethora of information and resources to help you make the best decision for your company.