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How to Get a UPC Code

Got a business idea? Need to sell a product? Make sure you get a handy UPC to track your sales.


  • Step 1: GS1 In the U.S., visit the nonprofit group GS1 at to be assigned a UPC for your product.
  • TIP: If you are in Canada, visit the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada.
  • Step 2: Apply Apply for a UPC by clicking on the "Apply Now" button. Follow the prompts to complete the application process.
  • TIP: Many of the questions in the application will ask you for 12-month projections -- it's okay to guesstimate.
  • Step 3: Pay Pay the application fee and an initial fee. You will also be responsible for an annual $150 membership maintenance fee.
  • TIP: If your funds are limited, some companies will resell you a UPC code for less than $100. This is a good option for a small retailer, but not for a larger one.
  • Step 4: Wait for your kit Wait for your member kit to be e-mailed to you. Once your application is approved, you will receive the first few digits of your UPC, and you will provide the rest. Now label your product, and get ready to sell!
  • FACT: The first item ever scanned with a UPC code was a 10-pack of Wrigley's chewing gum on June 26, 1974. It was scanned at Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

You Will Need

  • Product
  • Money
  • E-mail

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