This article explains how to get a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI code) as a UK limited company.
The process is very simple and obtaining a LEI number will cost you around £50 + VAT. It takes approximately one day to get one.
Why get a LEI code?
According to the FCA:
An LEI is a code unique to that legal entity or structure. When an LEI code is allocated to you, the code is included in a global data system. This enables every legal entity or structure that is a party to a relevant financial transaction to be identified in any jurisdiction.
So in other words, it’s there to promote transparency in the markets. If you want to invest as a limited company in funds and shares like I do, you will need a LEI code because you are a financial entity.
If in doubt, ask your accountant or let me know if you need an introduction to a good one. My accountant suggested I get a LEI code and it was also required by Interactive Investors when opening a company account.
How to register for a LEI code
I found there are many places where you can apply for a LEI code. In fact, there is a great website (https://lei.codes) where you can see all the options per country sorted by price.
That’s amazing thanks Christian Schmidt. I initially thought London Stock Exchange is the place to go but as expected, you’ll have to pay the price – £138 to be exact!
Bloomberg, on the other hand, is also well-known but quite cheap. So I chose them.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Here’s my step-by-step guide to getting a LEI code for your business.
- Create an account on lei.bloomberg.com
You just need to provide your name, address, and basic company information.
- Start a new LEI Web Form application
Fill in the company details like the legal name, registered address etc. My Registration Authority is England and Wales, and I have a private limited company but these may be different for you.
The only tricky bit is the “Relationship” section. I contacted Bloomberg, and since I’m a standalone Ltd, I had to put “I do not have a direct parent entity”, Exception Reason: “Natural Persons” or “No Known Person”. For the “Ultimate Parent” I selected “Same as Direct Parent.”
- Submit the company certificate of incorporation (PDF)
It’s a drag and drop section.
- Download and Submit the Self-Authorization or the Third-Party Authorization form
To put it simply, if you have created a Bloomberg account using your company e-mail address ([email protected]) then use the Self-Authorization form. Otherwise, if you use a third-party e-mail like Gmail or iCloud, use the Third party authorization form. Fill in your company details in the “Authorising company” section and your personal details in the “Authorized person” section.
- Pay and finish!
The LEI code costed £59 (incl VAT) which is the equivalent of $65 + VAT. I’m not registered for VAT so I selected “private individual” in the payment section. Congratulations, you now have submitted your LEI code request.
All in all, it took me 15 minutes to complete the application once I had all the info. I hope I saved you some time here.
If you decide to go with Bloomberg, they also have a User Guide and an FAQ Section. It explains how to go about the company parent thing: See “What are the options for reporting Level 2 Relationship Data?”.
It took one day for my LEI code to be created and I received the invoice receipt in my inbox the next day.
The LEI code looks something like this: “252500JXLFBM5NUSOE54” and it’s renewed automatically every year for a lower cost.