1. Get Your UPC Barcodes from GS1 US

You have your product, your business plan, and maybe even some prospective buyers. Now it’s time to take the next step. Time to get your unique product barcode. 

Whether you're selling in stores, online, or both, the right place to turn for help is GS1 US. GS1 US is the not-for-profit company that pioneered the use of the UPC barcode over 40 years ago. 

1.1 Estimate how many barcodes you need

Product Variations Infographic

The most important thing to understand is that each variation of each product you sell requires a unique barcode.

For example, if you make a t-shirt, but that shirt comes in three sizes (small, medium, large), three styles (short sleeve, long sleeve, 3⁄4 sleeve), three colors (blue, pink, purple), and three packages (single, 2-pack, 3-pack), you need to identify 81 product variations (3 sizes x 3 styles x 3 colors x 3 packages = 81).

Need more help in figuring out how many barcodes you need?

This tool will help you estimate how many barcodes you will need to create for current and future products.*

Current Products


In most cases, you'll need one barcode for every product variation. Use the Worksheet and Examples tabs for additional help.

Future Products


Total Barcodes Needed:
Prefix Capacity:
Initial Fee:
Annual Fee:



*This Estimator tool helps you estimate your barcode capacity, initial fee, and annual renewal fee to license a GS1 Company Prefix. If you enter different information into the application your fees could change based on your input. For more information, see our Terms of Use.

Use this worksheet to help you determine the number of barcodes you will need. As you click the “Add To List” button, your product will appear in the list below.






Total Barcodes Needed:
Prefix Capacity:


Product List

    Take a look at the samples below to learn how to estimate the number of barcodes you need for a particular item.

    Barcode variation Example Images

    1.2 Choose the right pricing plan for you

    When you get barcodes from GS1 US we’ll issue you a unique company identification number, called a GS1 Company Prefix. It’s part of every barcode you create and is the key to uniquely linking your company to your products in the marketplace.

    A GS1 Company Prefix comes in five different “capacities” that allow you to barcode as few as 10 unique products and as many as 100,000 unique products.  Choose a prefix capacity that best meets the needs of your business now and in the near future. Your initial fee allows you to use the prefix for one year. After that, you’ll pay a lower annual renewal fee to continue using your prefix for your barcodes and product identification.

    Prefix Pricing Schedule*

    Number of items needing a barcode/GTIN** Initial fee Annual renewal fee
    1 – 10 $250 $50
    1 – 100 $750 $150
    1 – 1,000 $2,500 $500
    1 – 10,000 $6,500 $1,300
    1 – 100,000 $10,500 $2,100
    NDC/NHRIC Company Prefix $2,100 $2,100

    *GS1 US reserves the right to change pricing on GS1 Company Prefix(es). The use of GS1 US-issued company prefixes is pursuant to the terms and conditions of a License Agreement, which is subject to change at GS1 US’ sole discretion.

    **If you need to identify locations, use the same table for pricing.

    Your prefix is licensed to you – you can’t return it or exchange it. And you can’t “add capacity” to it when you need more barcodes. However, you can always come back to get another prefix. Keep in mind, having all of your products associated with one prefix number might be easier for your company to manage and may be less expensive.


    1.3 Fill out our online application

    Provide your contact information, choose your prefix capacity, and pay online (here is our W-9 form). It's that easy. You’ll get a welcome email from GS1 US in a few minutes. It includes all the important information you need to get started, including your prefix certificate and access to myGS1 US—your online member center. You can start creating barcodes right away with GS1 US Data Hub®| Product or you can work with a GS1 US Solution Provider to create barcodes for you.

     

     

    Once you have your prefix, go to Step 2 by clicking the button below:

     
     
    In this publication, the letters “U.P.C.” are used solely as an abbreviation for the “Universal Product Code”, which is a product identification system. They do not refer to the UPC, which is a federally registered certification mark of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) to certify compliance with a Uniform Plumbing Code as authorized by IAPMO.