Find out what the LEI code is

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What is the LEI code

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is an alphanumeric code, consisting of 20 characters, based on the international standard ISO 17442, which makes it possible to uniquely identify legal entities (Legal Entities) operating in financial markets around the world. The LEI code contains some basic information on the applicant legal entity (level 1 data), such as tax code, name, address of the registered office, legal form. Furthermore, it contains also information relating to the applicant's corporate structure, that is who owns whom (level 2 data), particularly useful for reconstructing the corporate ramifications. All these data are published in the LEI database, updated daily and available on the website of the GLEIF (Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation), a non-profit organization that coordinates the global LEI system worldwide, and can be freely consulted by anyone interested through the appropriate functionality of research.

What it is for

The LEI code serves to identify counterparties in financial transactions subject to reporting obligations in a simple, fast and standardized way. The LEI code is; uniquely associated with each applicant and cannot; be transferred from one legal entity to another.

Who needs it

The LEI code is mandatory for legal entities that transact financial instruments (such as stock trading, bonds, warrants, government bonds and derivatives). In the case of transactions in financial markets, the LEI code is mandatory for:

  • entities listed in the Business Register
  • italian branches of foreign companies
  • investment funds managed by companies listed in the Business Register
  • italian pension funds
  • other bodies (such as Public Administrations, Associations, Foundations).

It is not mandatory for individuals even if they carry out financial transactions.

How to obtain it

In Italy the LEI code can be requested quickly and easily through the InfoCamere LEI portal.
The activation request is; consisting of a few steps and takes place completely online.
It is sufficient to register on the portal and then access your own Reserved Area using credentials or digital identity tools such as the CNS (the National Service Card) or the SPID (Public System for Digital Identity), which can be easily obtained by contacting, for example, your own Chamber of Commerce. At that point, you are guided through an online procedure which involves three phases:

  • compilation of the request
  • digital signature and sending of the file
  • payment by credit card or MAV (automated payment by advice).

Individuals who access the InfoCamere LEI portal with SPID or CNS, thanks to the automatic recognition of the digital identity of the applicant, they will not have to digitally sign the documentation attached to the LEI code request, so the processing times are even faster. Legal entities interested in obtaining an LEI code can request it directly on the InfoCamere LEI portal or delegate an intermediary for this purpose. In the latter case it will be necessary to get a copy of the delegating party's identity document and a specific proxy document(by using the pre-filled proxy document you find while completing / entering the request or by filling the proxy document available for download in the InfoCamere LEI portal).

Download attachment Proxy form for first activation and renewal

Once it has been activated by InfoCamere the LEI code can also be found using the Chamber of Commerce company registration details, available on the website

Duration and how to renew it

The LEI code has a duration of one year from its first emission and from the following renewal. The annual renewal of the code is mandatory in order to continue to operate in the financial market; In fact, based on current regulations, a lapsed LEI code can lo longer be usable.It is therefore very important not to let your LEI code expire in order not to risk finding your operations blocked in the case of financial transactions subject to reporting, perhaps in urgent situations.
Anyone who has previously activated or renewed an LEI code will receive automatic notifications when the renewal date approaches both via email and in the reserved area of the portal, which is always accessible after registration and authentication. This way you do not risk making your LEI expire.
The subjects registered in the Italian Business Register, thanks to the real-time interconnection with the official registry of Italian companies, by accessing their Reserved Area in the InfoCamere LEI portal and starting the renewal request, find their data already pre-filled and updated.Individuals registered in the Business Register with already an active code with InfoCamere LEI can take advantage of a further simplification of the procedure by carrying out the renewal of the LEI code in a simple and fast way in a few clicks directly from the link in the PEC message that is automatically sent to them in proximity of the deadline.
Renewal through registration or access to the InfoCamere LEI portal, on the other hand, is the obligatory procedure for requests for renewal of the LEI code from subjects not registered in the Business Register.
It is always possible to pass a code activated by another operator to InfoCamere LEI through a special procedure that does not involve charges. It is enough to refer in the appropriate section.

Why choose InfoCamere LEI

Infocamere, the digital innovation company for the Italian Chambers of Commerce, is a LOU (Local Operation Unit), officially accredited by GLEIF for years and authorized to issue and renew LEI codes.
Among the main organizations worldwide and first in Italy for the management of LEI codes, InfoCamere provides a high quality and reliable service.
Thanks to the real-time connection with the Register of Companies - the official registry of all Italian companies - the procedure for verifying the identity of those who request the LEI code from InfoCamere is simple and certified, and allows you to obtain your code in a very short time. Also during the renewal of the LEI code, direct interconnection with the Register of Companies allows you to proceed in an even faster and easier way to check the information in the LEI database and to confirm the renewal request..

Reference regulations

The adoption of the LEI code is governed by various European regulations.
The first act was the EMIR regulation (n.684 / 2012 / EU) which made it mandatory in Europe to report details relating to transactions carried out in derivative financial instruments. (whether it is products listed on regulated markets or OTC) to the supervisory authorities (for Italy, Consob).
This was followed by two regulatory interventions that have consistently expanded the mandatory scope of the LEI code: the community directive MIFID II (2014/65 / EU) on markets in financial instruments and the related implementing regulation MIFIR (600/2014). In order to develop a single European market for financial services, such legislation has among its main objectives the increase in the transparency of the markets and their supervision, the protection of investors and the improvement of transaction execution strategies.
From 3 January 2018, with the entry into force of the MIFID II / MIFIR directive, all legal entities that have opened a securities account with financial intermediaries must have an LEI code.

LOU (Local Operating Unit)

LOUs (Local Operating Units) are organizations authorized to issue LEI codes to legal entities that take part in financial transactions. The LOUs deal with the registration and renewal of LEI codes, provide any additional services and are the main point of contact for those who request the issuance of LEI codes. Accreditation is the process through which the GLEIF (Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation) assesses the suitability of organizations wishing to operate within the Global LEI System as issuers of LEI codes and custodians of legal entity data.