GS1 issues an authorized Company Prefix. A GS1 Company Prefix is a unique identification number issued just to your company—it’s part of every barcode, U.P.C. and GTIN you create and identifies your company as the brand owner in the global supply chain.
This very important because it establishes the lineage of your product. It identifies not just the product itself, but it updates to a database that provides additional information for retailers including the details of the product such as size, shape, color, weight and packing information (such how many in a case). If you eventually get into a large retailer such as Wal-Mart, West Marine or Amazon, this information is very important.
GS1 also offers additional services such as:
The GS1 US Data Hub® tool takes the guesswork out of creating and managing barcodes and GTINs. You can even use the tool to give potential retailers and customers visibility to your products.
Access to a network of GS1 US-trained Solution Partners to help you get barcodes on your products the right way
Experts and training material to help you if you have question
Given all that background, it seemed like the best answer was to go with GS1! I filled out a straightforward application process and submitted the application, and a few minutes later I had an official GS1 issued prefix! Now I was ready to make a barcode.