Estimate How Many Barcodes You Need

The most important thing to understand is that each variation of each product you sell requires a unique barcode. You’ll need to determine exactly how many barcodes you need before you fill out the application. You can follow the example below or use the barcode estimator to help you decide.


3 sizes x 3 colors = 9 barcodes

If you make a t-shirt, but that shirt comes in three sizes (small, medium, large) and three colors (blue, pink, purple), you need to identify 9 product variations.

3 sizes x 3 colors x 3 styles = 27 barcodes

If they also come in 3 styles, you'll need 27 barcodes.

3 sizes x 3 colors x 3 styles x 3 packages = 81 barcodes

If they also come in 3 packages, you'll need 81 barcodes.

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

Access the Barcode Estimator



When you get barcodes from GS1 US® we’ll first 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. Your initial fee covers your prefix and barcodes for one year, after that you’ll need to renew your membership every year in order to continue using your barcodes.

Prefix Pricing*
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’s sole discretion.

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


Fill Out the Application

Our application has three simple steps:

  1. Select your Prefix Capacity
  2. Fill out your Company and Contact information
  3. Pay (here is our W-9 form)

In order to complete the application, you’ll need the following information:

  • Legal Company Name (DBA required if operating a Sole Proprietorship)
  • Primary Contact Information (person filling out the form)
  • Decide how many individual items you need to identify (If unsure, use the GS1 US Barcode Estimator)
  • Payment Information

Once you submit your application, you’ll get a welcome email from GS1 US within 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.

As a part of your membership, you’ll gain access to GS1 US Data Hub | Product, the tool you can use to create your own barcodes and manage your product data. As long as you renew your membership every year, your barcodes will remain linked to your company information and you will maintain access to GS1 US Data Hub® where you can control your product data.

Apply Now

Learn How to Use Your Barcodes

Whether you already have your barcodes or just got them from GS1 US, you’re ready to take the next steps.

Start Using Your Barcodes

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.

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