The Global Language of Business
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Determine how to assign GLNs

Responsibility for allocating GLNs

GLNs are allocated by the party that defined the party/location in support of their business operations. If a GLN is used to identity a combination of legal entity, function, physical location, and/or digital location, all applicable rules shall apply.

Legal entity: Allocating a GLN to a legal entity is the responsibility of the legal entity itself or another legal entity that is part of the same organisation.

  • If multiple legal entities within an organisation have licensed GS1 Company Prefixes, the parties need to coordinate GLN allocation. If not, there may be a lack of awareness to established GLNs and duplication.

Function: The organisation identifying their own, internal functions to support their business operation is responsible for allocating GLN.

Physical location: The owner or primary user(s) of the physical location is responsible for allocating the GLN.

  • Parties use a GLN allocated by their own organisation, the owner of the location, or a primary user that is a business partner directly involved in a specified transaction.

Digital location: The owner or primary user(s) of the digital location is responsible for allocating the GLN.

What is an owner or primary user?

The owner is the organisation that has the legal or rightful title to the physical or digital location.

A primary user is an organisation that directly transacts with a physical or digital location. There may be multiple primary users associated to a single location.

Example: An owner would be the organisation that has legal ownership of a mall. A primary user would be the organisation that is leasing a space within the mall for their retail store.

GLN assignment options

A single GLN can be used to identify a party, a location, or combination of these.

Use of GLN to identify single party or single location

Party and location use cases can be complex and have overlapping elements. When a single GLN identifies a single party or location, multiple GLNs can be used in any combination required by specific use cases without overlap or duplication. As an organisation expands, additional parties and locations can be allocated new GLNs. If a party or location is discontinued, it can be removed from use with minimal impact to other GLNs as the information associated to the GLNs are designed to function independently.

Use of same GLN to identify a combination of party/location

Companies with limited identification requirements can successfully utilise a single GLN to identify one legal entity, function, physical location, and/or digital location simultaneously. Companies using this method of GLN allocation may experience issues when scaling due to business needs or trying to meet more complex use case requirements.