Near-Infrared (NIR) absorbing chromophores have been used in analytical and bioanalytical chemistry extensively, including for determination of properties of biomolecules, DNA sequencing, immunoassays, capillary electrophoresis (CE) separations, etc. The major analytical advantages of these dyes are low background interference and high molar absorptivities. NIR dyes have additional advantages due to their sensitivity to microenvironmental changes. Spectral changes induced by the microenvironment are not desirable if the labels are used as a simple reporting group, e.g., during a biorecognition reaction. For these applications upconverting phosphors seem to be a better choice. There are several difficulties in utilizing upconverting phosphors as reporting labels. These are: large physical size, no reactive groups and insolubility in aqueous systems. This presentation will discuss how these difficulties can be overcome for bioanalytical and forensic applications. During these studies we also have investigated how to reduce physical size of the phosphor by simple grinding without losing activity and how to attach reactive moiety to the phosphor to covalently bind to the biomolecule of interest. It has to be emphasized that the described approach is not suitable for medical applications and the results of this research are not applicable in medical applications. For bioanalytical and forensic applications upconverting phosphors used as reporting labels have several advantages. They are excited with lasers that are red shifted respective to phosphorescence, resulting in no light scatter issues during detection. Also some phosphors are excited using eye safe lasers. In addition energy transfer to NIR dyes is possible, allowing detection schemes using donor-acceptor pairs. Data is presented to illustrate the feasibility of this phenomenon. If microenvironmental sensitivity is required, then specially designed NIR dyes can be used as acceptor labels. Several novel dyes have been synthesized in our laboratories for that purpose.