GLN is the acronym for Global Location Number and is used for the specific, overlap-free identification of legal entities and physical locations. The 13-digit number is assigned by the GS1 organisations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and used to be called International Location Number (ILN).
The GLN is composed of the GS1 base number, the location reference, and a verification digit. The first three digits in the GS1 base number refer to the country of issue of the number.
In automated data exchange, the GLN is used to uniquely identify the business partners involved to ensure accuracy – instead of using address data with different spellings, for example.