LEI Structure

format of the legal entity identifier (lei)

LEI Structure

The LEI Code is an ISO  standard (17442) which consists of 20 letters and numbers.
If you are transacting in the global financial system, you will more than likely be required to obtain a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).

The Legal Entity Identifier is a 20 digit alpha-numeric code unique to each legal entity which has been assigned an LEI. No two entities may have the same LEI. ​

What makes this identifier truly unique is that it is supported by high quality, verified data. Data which is publicly available and free to access. 

WHAT IS the lei format?

A Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20 digit code that is unique to a legal entity and provides basic information about the entity such as name, address and entity type e.g Limited Companies, Funds, Trusts, Pension Schemes and Financial Institutions.

Since the introduction of MiFID 2 in 2018, the use of an LEI has been mandated by over 116+ global regulations requiring its use for reporting of Financial Transactions.

​​At first sight, the LEI may seem like a random assortment of numbers and letters. The LEI code length is comprised of a 20 digit alpha numeric code. This is not the case.

All 1.6 million Legal Entity Identifier numbers which have been issued follow the below structure.

However each LEI number is unique and stores relevant information for each entity on the searchable LEI database. See below for an LEI Number example and how many digits are in the LEI structure below.

lei format



The LEI format may look long, and complex at a glance. However, as you can see when the LEI Code sample is broken down into its parts it is very digestible. The value of having such a standardised code will be massive.

The LEI is also an ISO Standard. This means that it has been approved as an official standard by the Interniso 17442ational Organisation for Standardisation and the LEI code holds ISO 17442. 

The broader benefits of being able to prove this data on a global scale, all in a single document are immeasurable. Previously, this was done by providing your Certificate of Incorporation, or registry extract. This can now be replaced in a reliable way.

The Legal Entity Identifier is a G20 endorsed globally verifiable unique identity code that consists of 20 numbers and digits. The LEI which is unique to each entity is located on the GLEIF database and contains basic entity information such as name, address and entity type (e.g Limited company, Fund, Trust etc).

The ISO definition of the Legal Entity Identifier can be found on the ISO website here: ISO 17442 - Legal Entity Identifier​






  • Characters 1-4

You can see in the above LEI Code example that the first 4 digits are the (Local Operating Unit) LOU Identifier. This identifies the source from which the LEI was issued. This allows the data user traceability on the LEI in case ownership needs to be verified. 

  • Characters 5-6

These are the LEI reserved digits. In every LEI number format they remain 0,0 always. 

  • Characters 7-18

This section of the LEI number is unique and different for every Legal Entity. This Alphanumeric section of the LEI number can identify each and every registered trader on the Global database. Every entity on the LEI index will have a unique code in its LEI from digits 7-18 and the LEI length always remains the same.

  • Characters 19-20

The final two digits serve to check whether or not the legal entity number is compliant as outlined the ISO 17442 standard, as you can see in the sample LEI above. They are mostly for verification purposes. 

LEI requirements vary depending on the country, legal jurisdiction or industry. It is the prerogative of the authorities acting in individual jurisdictions to mandate the use of LEIs.

Click here to view the GLEIF page on the LEI format.


lei format

Image source: GLEIF



The publicly available LEI data pool can be regarded as a global directory, which greatly enhances transparency in the global marketplace. This will have long term benefits in the areas of transparency, anti-money laundering, KYC processes and fraud detection. 

The format and data contained within each LEI record can be seen on the LEI Certificate. 

An LEI Certificate may ONLY be provided if you have first successfully completed the LEI registration form. Once that has been done, then proceed below.

Step 1: Please follow the link and proceed to the Create an LEI Certificate page.

Step 2: Enter your company LEI Code. The system will automatically find your entity details

Step 3: Please check the details entered are correct, and ensure you have logged into your account. If you do not have an account, create one first.

Step 4: You may now apply for your LEI certificate, and view your LEI on the LEI Look Up tool also known as the global LEI index.  Your LEI Certificate will be sent to your email automatically.

Why get an lei certificate?

You may be asked by your investment broker, or service provider to produce an LEI certificate so they make transactions or execute trades on your behalf. This is where you can simply produce your PDF LEI Certificate document. 

"Having an LEI certificate increases trust in your organisations identity and ultimately improves your credibility on a global scale"

  • Guarantees your existence as a registered company
  • Replaces traditional Certificates of Registration
  • International business 'passport'
  • Links to your official GLEIF page
  • Globally recognised Trade License
  • Credibility boost
  • Increased Trust
  • Global Identity
  • Compliance requirements simplified


LEI Worldwide is an Official GLEIF LEI Registration Agent (RA), and the first RA providing LEIs on a global basis since 2017. Our approach since inception has been focused on providing high quality customer service and helping our clients manage large portfolios of LEIs.​

lei worldwide

LEI Worldwide was formed to help some of the worlds largest organisations meet their regulatory requirements, with emphasis on the updated Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) & regulation (MiFIR) and to assist entities in the process of obtaining an LEI number.​​

There are over 144 pieces of legislation globally mandating the use of the LEI. If your firm is subjected to regulations such as MiFID II transaction reporting obligations, you will require a UK Legal Entity Identifier number or you will be declared ineligible to execute a trade in the UK.​

This could mean a no trade ruling or financial penalty “no LEI, no trade” as the saying goes.

In order to meet the demand, and the volume of firms applying, LEI Worldwide have created a designated  state-of-the art, proprietary LEI registration and management portal called RAMP 2.0 (Registration Agent Management Platform) which streamlines and automates the process, ensuring timely registration and ease of LEI portfolio management.

We cater for companies from anywhere in the world and those who are seeking a Legal Entity Identifier from all countRIes. By co-operating LEI issuing organisations, and uniquely providing global access, we bring our clients the fastest and most comprehensive LEI solutions available on the market.

We aim to fulfill our mission of providing a first class service which will facilitate the global conformity to the ISO 17442 standard and GLEIFs mission to fulfill “One identity behind every entity”.

lei uk




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