How to Get a UPC Barcode

Written by raul avenir
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How to Get a UPC Barcode
A UPC barcode on a product. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Universal Product Codes are barcodes designed to facilitate tracking and inventory of products that you commonly find in stores. A UPC barcode typically consist of black and white parallel lines with 12 digits printed below the lines. You can get a UPC barcode by applying for a company prefix number with GS1. GS1, the organisation that administers the issuance of UPC barcodes worldwide.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Visit the U.S. website of GS1 using your Internet browser (see Resources). Navigate to the page where you can apply for a company prefix number by clicking on the "BarCodes and eCom" tab on the top menu bar. Click on "I Need a U.P.C. Barcode" in the following drop down menu, then click on "Apply" on the next page.

  2. 2

    Read the details of the digital application and fill in the spaces with the information required to process your application. Once the application form is completed, follow on-screen prompts to navigate to the payment processing page. Type in your payment information and download your 8-digit company prefix number once you have submitted your payment.

  3. 3

    Navigate to the page where you can start creating your 12-digit UPC barcode number. Click on the "BarCodes and eCom" tab on the top menu bar, then click on "Getting Started" in the pop-up menu. Click on "How to Create a U.P.C. Barcode," then click on "Step 1: Build my GTIN for my U.P.C. Barcodes."

  4. 4

    View the page and enter the company prefix number you downloaded from GS1 in the space provided and click "Continue." Enter your own stock or reference number for each product that needs a barcode in the succeeding spaces. Click "Continue" to get your 12-digit U.P.C. barcode number. Download the barcode image and save the image in your computer. Print the downloaded barcode image, using a regular printer or a barcode printer.

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