Global Location Number (GLN)

A GLN (Global Location Number) is used to uniquely identify a company or organisation. A GLN can also be used to number delivery places, invoicing addresses, workplaces, branches as well as functions or roles, such as goods recipient or authorised purchaser.

Create a GLN

A GLN consists of 13 digits. You create a GLN using a GS1 Company Prefix, a sequence number and a check digit.

  • A GS1 Company Prefix consists of 6-9 digits.
  • The sequence number consists of a different number of digits depending on the length of the company prefix. We recommend that you number locations so that the first location gets sequence number “...001”, the second location gets number “...002”, and so on.
  • The check digit you can calculate using a tool on our website.

Here is how to create a GLN using a GS1 Company Prefix of 9 digits:

If the company prefix has less that nine digits, you create the location number in the same way but the sequence number will be more than three digits.

Note that a Global Location Number (GLN) and a GTIN‑13 can contain the same digits, but they can never be confused.

Encode a GLN in a barcode or RFID/EPC tag

A GLN may be encoded using the symbologies GS1‑128 or GS1 DataMatrix, or in an RFID/EPC-tag.

GS1‑128 and GS1 DataMatrix include Application Identifiers (AI). These describe what type of information is in the barcode. An application identifier consists of two to four digits and is printed in parentheses below the barcode together with information it describes.

Create a GLN based on Swedish company registration number

Companies that need to identify themselves with a GLN, for example to participate in public sector tenders, can choose to create a temporary GLN based on the company’s registration number.

GS1 Sweden advises against creating a GLN based on the company registration number since the number will not be available in GS1’s number information service. Also the company will not be able to use GS1 Sweden’s services, such as Validoo Item, or have access to GS1 Sweden’s customer support.

GLN rules

On GS1’s global website you will find the GLN rules which describe what changes to a location require a new GLN to be used and which changes are permitted without changing the GLN.

Go to the GLN rules

Simplify e-business

A GLN is a prerequisite for the efficient flow of goods and information between trading partners. When doing business electronically GLNs are used to identify parties and delivery points and to route invoices to the correct address. Using GLNs, companies can easily exchange information since party information only needs to be sent once and not for every business transaction. The information is stored in a database and the GLN is the key.

The following figure shows an example of how party information can be fetched from a database simply by using the GLN.

A GLN can also be used to check the authenticity of an invoice prior to it entering the accounts payable system. The system checks that the supplier’s GLN is in the supplier database. The invoice is paid to the account which has previously be registered for that supplier and linked to the GLN in the invoice.

Simplify transport planning and statistics gathering

GLNs can be associated with addresses and contact information. When other attributes, such as geographic coordinates, are associated with a GLN, it can be used for transport planning.

When GLNs are used for e-business they also simplify the gathering of statistics. If, for example, a retail store is identified with a GLN, it is easy to produce sales statistics by selecting all invoice transactions which include the store’s GLN.

Associate a GLN with an event

Sometimes it is necessary to mark a location with a GLN in order to associate it with an event, for example delivery to a loading bay or resource planning of beds in a hospital.

Warehouse locations can be numbered with GLNs and marked with a barcode. When the warehouse staff fetch or leave a pallet, they scan the location’s identity and this information is stored in the system. The means that there is real-time information on where each pallet is stored in the warehouse and which locations are empty.

A bed place in a hospital can be numbered with a GLN and marked with a barcode. When the hospital staff move a patient they scan the location and the information is collated in a resource planning system. The result is improved patient safety, better control and follow-up of bed capacity.