What is an LEI database?

Today with over 1.8 million entities on the LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) database, you’re able to navigate the GLEIF (Global LEI Foundation) search tool and track down valuable information about future investors, clients and customers. The database helps to easily integrate LEI checks into your KYC (know your customer) process. This global system has significant benefits to the economy by providing standardised data on companies trading all over the world. The best part is that the public database forms an index of legal entities, and is easily accessible to everyone as well as being free of charge.

LEI database has greatly simplified dealing with international clients as there’s no need for a time-consuming background check where previously the only information being relied upon was the company’s own internet presence and local registry listings; often leading to hours of translating and web browsing with little confidence of the authenticity.


What information can be found from the LEI database?

Being the first global database providing unique identification information of legal entities participating in financial transactions all across the globe, an LEI requires entities to list their:

1. Registered and trading names
2. Company type (e.g. Fund, Trust, Limited Liability Company)
3. Registered address(es)
4. Company registration number
5. Parent company information
6. Child company information

All this is transparently available on the global LEI database.

How to use the LEI database?

It’s easy to navigate in the database by using the LEI search tool. To navigate the page simply type in the company’s name, BIC (business identifier code), an LEI number, an address or simply browse the listing.

For a more in-depth searching experience, turn on the expert mode.

Expert mode will help to run a search by combining various search filters, enabling you to perform detailed searches with comprehensive control over the query parameters. For example, finding matching companies in your country and area that have been registered later than 2020-12-01. Different combinations of these filters conduct very precise and accurate checks for clusters of companies or patterns,  allowing you to be confident in the authenticity of entities you will be dealing with. Try navigating the search tool here.

Expert mode filters include the following (that can all be used in combination): 

  • LEI code, issuer or status 
  • BICs or ISIN code 
  • Country, city or postcode 
  • Company type, name or status 
  • Associated companies 
  • The expiration and registration dates

LEI status is a key measure that will confirm whether the information contained in the searched record is up to date and valid. In case the LEI code hasn’t been renewed recently, the data could be outdated. In order to be trusting in the accuracy of the records, the LEI must be updated every 12 months. Renew your LEI number as required. LEI status can easily be checked by keeping an eye on the last column:  Reg.Status.


If the LEI Status is ISSUED, it means that the LEI is active with up-to-date information, whereas if the status is LAPSED, the LEI has expired, the data hasn’t been renewed and will need to be updated.

In conclusion, the LEI database and search tool are reliable and useful aids to implement into your KYC, and are able to be effortlessly integrated. If your potential business partner or client provides an LEI, and the data is up-to-date, you can rest assured that they are who they claim to be, instilling confidence in your financial dealings with them.