LEI code in Simple Terms

LEI code - Legal entity identifier code.
● A unique identification code for entities which trade in financial  markets (stocks, bonds, futures, forex, etc.)
● Every deal conducted in the markets will connect to the other counterpart with an LEI.
● Used for regulators to oversee financial markets.
● LEI connects financial markets, companies and regulators.
● The issuing of an LEI code is conducted under GLEIF-accredited LOUs.
● GLEIF - Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation


Renewal of an LEI code

A legal entity identifier code (LEI code) number needs annual renewal. This means that an LEI code issued on 2.1.2018 will have to be renewed before 2.1.2019. If the deadline has passed, your LEI will become inactive until renewed again. This renewal process is necessary to ensure the data in the Global LEI Pool is relevant and up to date.

LEI Register offers the renewal of LEIs for 1-, 3- or 5-year period. Whatever the period, you will receive a notification from LEI Register a month prior to the deadline. In the case of multi-year LEI code renewal, the LEI Register will take the responsibility to check your data before renewal and renew your LEI code on a yearly basis. Our aim is to keep your data up to date.


Structure of an LEI code

A legal entity identifier code (LEI code) is standardised with ISO certificate 17442. This consists of a combination of 20 numbers and letters.

  • Numbers 1-4 always show the ID of the LOU which has issued the LEI.
  • Numbers 5-6 have always a value of 0.
  • Numbers/Letters 7-18 are unique to each entity.
  • Numbers 19-20 are for verification purposes.

Legal entity identifier example:

LEI code structure


LEI code is all about connecting the dots!

The vision of GLEIF is to have one universal registration number for all entities around the globe. This is an identifier that would provide standardised and  high-quality reference data.

"We believe that ultimately there should be one identity behind every business. Having an LEI will help to achieve this objective."

GLEIF - Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation.


Who can issue Legal Entity Identifier code?

Issuance of LEI is governed by GLEIF. The GLEIF is the foundation which controls the issuance of LEIs. The GLEIF does not itself issue LEIs, they are instead issued through a network of public and private companies acting as LOUs. Their purpose is to supply LEI registration, the renewal of LEIs, and act as a gateway for organisations that wish to obtain an LEI. A list of LOUs can be found here.

The LEI Registry is not an LOU. Instead, the LEI Registry acts as Registration Agent. Our task is to help companies and public entities obtain reliable information about an LEI, and manage communication between LOUs and entities wishing to apply for an LEI Number. We check data provided with publicly available services such as Company Registry (for example Ministry of Corporate Affairs, IEC, GST Portal), etc. More information about Registration Agents can be found here.