An LEI is a 20-character, alphanumeric code that provides a clear and unique identification to businesses and other entities participating in financial transactions. It contains information on business ownership structures that regulators require to assess financial risks and promote market integrity. LEIs are part of global standards that rely on high data quality for enhancing transparency in marketplaces. They are free of charge for all users. More information on what an LEI is can be found at the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation’s (GLEIF) website and at LEI Worldwide.
Although an LEI is not a legal requirement, there are several benefits that your business can get from an LEI. You can gain international recognition and credibility with investors, customers, and other stakeholders that need LEI data to optimize business procedures for market transactions. Having an LEI number can also provide you with security in knowing about your suppliers and partners and doing business overseas. An LEI can help a financial institution give your company a loan and it can further help you to comply with 184 international regulations, secure your brand identity, and enhance reporting requirements.
LEI Worldwide offers a website where you can sign up to get a new LEI code or renew an existing one. The process begins by completing an application form that requires basic company details such as name, addresses, and telephone number. You will also be asked to provide ownership information for your company with supporting documents. Once you submit your form, you will receive a confirmation within a few hours, depending on the country where your business is located. It is important to note that although LEIs can provide a number of benefits, they do require an annual fee. Learn more about the LEI application process at the LEI website.
Some institutions offer online materials and courses that can help you learn more about LEIs and the legal landscape around business and trade.