In today’s business landscape, having a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) number is crucial. It’s a unique code that identifies a company or organization and helps regulators and financial institutions keep track of its activities. Obtaining an LEI number is essential if you’re starting a business or already running one. This article will provide a step-by-step guide to obtaining a Legal Entity Identifier number for your business.


What is a Legal Entity Identifier Number?

A Legal Entity Identifier number is a 20-character alphanumeric code identifying a legal entity. It was introduced after the financial crisis of 2008 to provide regulators and market participants with a transparent view of an entity’s exposure to risk. A Legal Entity Identifier number is assigned to legal entities that engage in financial transactions. It’s a globally recognised identifier that enables regulators to identify and monitor financial risks across borders.

Step 1: Find an LEI Issuer

The first step to obtaining a Legal Entity Identifier number is finding an issuer. An LEI issuer is an organization authorized by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) to issue Legal Entity Identifier numbers. There are many LEI issuers worldwide, and you can find them through the GLEIF website. Choosing a reliable and trusted LEI issuer ensures financial institutions and regulators worldwide recognize your Legal Entity Identifier number.

Step 2: Provide Your Entity Information

Once you’ve found an LEI issuer, you must provide your entity information. This includes your legal entity name, registration number, and registered address. You’ll also need to provide information about your ownership structure, such as the names of your directors and shareholders. This information is necessary for the issuer to verify your identity and ensure you’re eligible for a Legal Entity Identifier number.

Step 3: Pay the Fee

Obtaining a Legal Entity Identifier number requires a fee, which varies depending on your chosen issuer. The fee covers processing your application, verifying your entity information, and issuing your Legal Entity Identifier number. You’ll need to pay the fee before your application can be processed.

Step 4: Wait for Verification

After you’ve submitted your entity information and paid the fee, the LEI issuer will verify your information. This process can take several days to complete, depending on the issuer’s workload and the complexity of your entity structure. The issuer may contact you to request additional information or documentation to complete the verification process.

Step 5: Receive Your Legal Entity Identifier Number

Once your entity information is verified, the issuer will issue your number. The number will be sent to you via email or through your online account with the issuer. You must keep your Legal Entity Identifier number safe and provide it to financial institutions and regulators when requested.

Step 6: Renew Your Legal Entity Identifier Number

Legal Entity Identifier numbers expire after one year and must be renewed annually. You must update your entity information with the LEI issuer to renew your Legal Entity Identifier number and pay the renewal fee. You’ll receive a new Legal Entity Identifier number once the renewal process is complete.


Obtaining an LEI number is a straightforward process that can help your business in many ways. Following these steps, you can obtain a Legal Entity Identifier number and ensure your business complies with global regulatory requirements. Remember to choose a reliable and trusted LEI issuer, provide accurate entity information, and renew your Legal Entity Identifier number annually. With a Legal Entity Identifier number, you can enhance your risk management practices, access new markets, and improve your business operations.

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