One of the major building blocks of any Identity Assurance ecosystem is the ability to uniquely identify any single member from any other member.  The benefits to the retail industry in adopting industry standard, globally recognized GS1 UPC bar codes for merchandise has resulted in the humble ‘tin of baked beans’ having a greater level of ‘global’ Identity Assurance than the corporations producing or selling them.

Driven initially by the need to avoid a repeat of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and more recently by best practice, Regulators have recognized that it’s not acceptable to have multiple disparate numbering systems for Legal Entities.  Enter the LEI, (Legal Entity Identifier) as a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code based on an international standard (ISO 17442) used to uniquely identify a Legal Entity (LE).  Ubisecure Oy’s Legal Entity Identifier is 529900T8BM49AURSDO55.  An initiative endorsed by the G20 and operated by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) maintains a framework of policy and processes known as the Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS) – effectively a globally recognized identifier for an organization.  Multiple Accredited LEI Issuers, such as Ubisecure through its RapidLEI™ brand, upload and therefore maintain the open database of LEI’s paving the way for a trustworthy global business directory to verify an organization and provide identity assurance.

Momentum behind the LEI project is growing with over 1.2 million companies now identifiable through their LEI.  The expectation is this will double or triple as regulators across multiple verticals follow the lead of their equivalents legislating for Financial Transactions.  So, as the business world becomes more closely connected and as demands on the accuracy and ease of reporting drive deeper adoption of a single unique business identity, it will not be long until there truly is one legal entity numbering system to rule them all.

Whilst uniqueness is paramount, any Open Data system such as the Global LEI System needs consistency in how additional reference data, so called level 1 business card information is linked to the LEI.  Minor differences such as qualifying the legal form as Ltd rather than LIMITED effectively result in a different fingerprint.  Although the ISO 20275 Entity Legal Forms standard will help with this small but important issue, the remaining data also needs to be consistent across all LEI issuers.

I cover this subject in detail in the following free white paper:

Legal Entity Reference Data (LE-RD).  The critical need for data accuracy.

  • Where to look for good quality company identity data
  • Implications of an Open Data system such as the GLEIS
  • RapidLEI’s Challenge/Amendment Process for LE-RD

Download White Paper


Ubisecure is an accredited LEI Issuer. For more information on obtaining a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) – visit