Many applications of nanometer- and micrometer-sized particles include their surface functionalization with linkers, sensor molecules, and analyte recognition moieties like (bio)ligands. This requires knowledge of the chemical nature and number of surface groups accessible for subsequent coupling reactions. Particularly attractive for the quantification of these groups are spectrophotometric and fluorometric assays, which can be read out with simple instrumentation. In this respect, we present here a novel family of cleavable spectrophotometric and multimodal reporters for conjugatable amino and carboxyl surface groups on nano- and microparticles. This allows determination of particle-bound labels, unbound reporters in the supernatant, and reporters cleaved off from the particle surface, as well as the remaining thiol groups on particle, by spectrophotometry and inductively coupled optical emission spectrometry (32S ICP-OES). Comparison of the performance of these cleavable reporters with conductometry and conventional labels, utilizing changes in intensity or color of absorption or emission, underlines the analytical potential of this versatile concept which elegantly circumvents signal distortions by scattering and encoding dyes and enables straightforward validation by method comparison.