I'm just about to put a release out on my new label and I'm trying to figure out the best route to go with the whole UPC code thing. I'm looking into getting a company code for the label ($300!) but I doubt it would be issued in time for this release. It's not like I expect to make a mark with SoundScan or anything, but my distributor is going to want one at the very least.
What do you guys do for these things? Is there a downside to getting one issued by someone like Independent Records as opposed to having your own company code and issuing your own? Where is the cheapest place to get UPC stickers made? (The first 500 of these are going to be handmade art, so I'll have to use stickers)