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Guide on Legal Entity Identifiers

What is a legal entity identifier (LEI)?

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. Visit the GLEIF and LEI Worldwide websites for more detail.

 What is the structure of an LEI?

LEIs have a structure of 20 alphanumeric characters distributed across three blocks. The first block contains characters 1-4 and indicates a prefix that LEI issuers use to ensure code uniqueness. The second block groups characters 5-18 and provides a specific identifier to each entity or business according to allocation policies. The third block comprises characters 19-20 that represent a verification ID determined by the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Visit the GLEIF website for more.

How can my business benefit from having an LEI?

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. It can further help you to comply with 184 international regulations, secure your brand identity and enhance reporting requirements. Visit LEI Worldwide for more.

How can I get an LEI?

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 as well as 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. Visit LEI Worldwide for more.

Useful resources on LEI

Some institutions offer online materials and courses that can help you to learn more about LEIs and the legal landscape around business and trade.

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF)

The GLEIF has an online archive of videos and podcasts that explain relevant LEI facts that you can use to leverage the benefits that an LEI can bring into your business to trade. Visit the GLEIF website for more.