Step 1: Apply for GS1 Company Prefix
The first, and most important, step in obtaining a UPC bar code for your product is to apply for membership and license a GS1 Company prefix from GS1. Your company prefix is a unique string of digits assigned to your company, identifying you as the manufacturer throughout the entire product supply-chain. The length of the prefix (and price) is dependent on the number of unique items which require UPC identification.
The number of digits in a Company Prefix can vary between 6 – 10 characters, depending on the number of products a manufacturer needs to identify. A small company, who only needs to identify a single product, would receive a 10-digit number. The membership fee for GS1 is primarily based on the number of products which require identification. To learn how to determine how many UPCs you need, please visit, www.gs1-us.info/how-many-upcs/.
GS1 Company Prefix Used in Case Markings
Many retailers, wholesalers and distributors require suppliers to use barcoded case markings which also follow the GS1 standards. The GTIN-14 is a identification string which includes a company’s unique GS1 Company Prefix.
The UPC/GTIN management and barcode creation can be very challenging for new companies. The comprehensive GS1 Barcode Service facilitates the entire process to easily manages GTIN/UPC information and create barcodes. At the end of this simple tutorial you will be provided information on the GS1 Barcode Service.