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Step 2: Assign Product Numbers

Once you have your GS1 company prefix, you can assign a unique product number to each of your items. The amount of digits you can assign to your product number is based off of your company prefix. Companies that sell many different items will receive a shorter prefix, allowing them to assign a larger range of digits for their products, while companies that plan on selling a smaller amount of unique product will receive a larger number, limiting the amount of unique product numbers.

For organizations with a 6-digit Company Prefix, a 5-digit product number must be created. Companies with a 9-digit Company Prefix, can only create a 2-digit number. The UPC Company Prefix and Product Numbers must always total 11-digits. (The 12th digit in a UPC is called the check digit and is mathematically calculated based off of the previous 11 digits.)

You need a unique product number for each variety of item you want to sell. For example, let’s say you’re selling t-shirts in two different styles – yellow and blue. Your blue small, medium, and large t-shirts would each have their own unique product numbers, while your yellow small, medium, and large t-shirts would also have their own different unique product numbers.


Product StyleProduct NumberFull UPC (GTIN-12) Number
Blue Shirt – Small0000101234500001-0
Blue Shirt – Medium0000201234500002-7
Blue Shirt – Large0000301234500003-4
Orange Shirt – Small0000401234500004-1
Orange Shirt – Medium0000501234500005-8
Orange Shirt – Large0000601234500006-5

At the end of this simple tutorial you will be provided information on to obtain UPC barcodes for your products. Click on the link below to continue.

Go to Third Step: Determine how to mark your product