GS1 US (formerly the Uniform Code Council) is the identification standards organization that administers UPCs allocations. Up until now, they made licensing a brand-specific Company Prefix mandatory for companies who wanted to identify their products with UPC. Their cost structure was extremely harsh for small companies who might not need more than a handful of UPC barcodes. As a non-profit, they took much criticism for a monopolistic hold on the US product identification so in 2021 they altered their policy to enable companies the option of purchasing single GTIN barcodes without licensing a Company Prefix and paying perpetual renewal fees.
GS1 Single GTIN Barcodes
- Ideal for companies with only a few products
- No On-going Renewal Fees!
- GTIN assignment(s) are providfed directly to you by GS1 US.
- Barcode files (.eps) are provided immediately
- Both a company’s name and product description are recorded in the GS1 Global Database so retailers/marketplaces, such as Amazon, can verify ownership.
(GTIN)UPCs with Company Prefix vs. GS1 Single GTINs
A licensed UPC Company Prefix is the building block for most companies to assign GTINs (UPCs) to their items. Unlike a GS1 Singe GTIN (UPC), the UPCs available with licensed Company Prefix all begin with the same prefix numbers.
- Unique UPC Company Prefix only identifies only your company
- Cost-effective for companies with over 9 products
- UPC Company Prefix and UPCs (GTINs) registered in GS1 Database
Particular industries, product types, trading partners, and applications require a company licensed UPC Company Prefix and single GS1 GTIN barcodes should not be used. The following are a few examples;
- Medical devices and pharmaceutical products
- Variable measure products (i.e. produce, small hardware parts, wholesale ingredients)
- Coupon Use – The GS1 Databar Coupon barcode requires brand-specific Company Prefix
- Products packed in mixed cases – Certain industries and retailers require suppliers to pack multiple product types in inner/outer packaging – Click Here For More Information
Bar Code Graphics is the US authority on barcodes and UPC implementation, whereas GS1 is essentially the standards numbering organization, . The GS1 Barcode Service provides the actual .eps barcodes AND personal support with UPC GTIN assignments and product data uploads. Most new companies rely on Bar Code Graphics when beginning to barcode their products so they get it right the first time.
Single UPCs: Select Number of Barcodes Required
|Number of Items||Single GTIN (UPC) Fee||UPC Barcode Service||Total Fee|
UPC Barcodes- FAQs
What is the real significance of a UPC (GS1) Company Prefix?
The basis of the GTIN identification system works of unique company identifiers licensed to each company. GS1 global is a standards organization that oversees the numbering and guidelines for product identification. There are local GS1 offices in over 104 countries whose primary role is to license GS1 Company Prefixes to companies within their country. In the US, GS1 US is the local US country office. The uniqueness of company-specific UPC Company Prefix enables products to be accepted globally. Every country establishes its own pricing rules for licensing Company Prefixes, which are normally based on the total number of products a company needs to identify.
Retailers and marketplaces mandate that their suppliers have a UPC Company Prefix licensed to their brand. Up until now, suppliers had no other choice but to get a company-specific Company Prefix. Since correct and unique production identification is critical to supply chains, retailers and online marketplaces verify their suppliers’ UPCs against the GS1 Global Registry and they do not accept UPC barcodes without correctly licensed prefixes or GS1 Single UPCs. For exact pricing for US company, please click here.
Can a company begin with GS1 Single GTINs (UPCs) and later license a UPC Company Prefix, if needed?
This is quite common and the new standards management portal enables companies to now mix different types of GTIN assignments. Your personal Barcode Consultant can assist with determining the most economical strategy to meet your company’s needs.
How Many UPC Codes do I Need for my Products?
Each individual product that you are planning on selling will need its own unique UPC Code. Each variant of a product will require a unique UPC so products of different size and colors will each be unique represented with an individual UPC. Please visit https://www.gs1-us.info/how-many-upcs/ for detailed information.
CALL (800)662-0701 X250 or use CHAT for assistance
At Bar Code Graphics, we define a GS1 UPC Barcode as one which correctly contains a UPC Company Prefix or is single GS1 GTIN. There is a tremendous amount of misleading information advertised online for cheap UPC codes, and companies really need to understand the severity of the problems which may occur if they are enticed by cheap alternatives. They need to either license a GS1 Company Prefix associated with their company or obtain single GS1 US UPCs. The size of the UPC Company Prefix they license is dependent on the number of items they need to identify. Please visit this educational page to learn more about UPC and how some companies provide resold UPCs. https://www.barcode.graphics/education-upc-symbols/.