Detailed information on the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) can be found on the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) website:
and in the GLEIF FAQs:
The unique business identification number (UID) ensures the unequivocal identification of legal and economic units at national level. Until recently, there was no such standardising system at international level that would allow legal units and units participating in financial markets to be identified completely and in a uniform manner. This was why, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, at the Los Cabos summit meeting in June 2012, the G20 approved the introduction of a global identification system for companies on the financial markets - the Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS). This makes risks easier to manage and control for both the private sector and public authorities.
A structured numbering system is used to manage the LEI identifiers, made up of the following information:
- Characters 1-4: Prefix of relevant LEI issuer (LOU) that issued the LEI. All LEIs issued in Switzerland begin with the four-digit prefix 5067.
- Characters 5-18: Part of the code specific to legal entity with no embedded information.
- Characters 19-20: Two check digits as described in the ISO norm 17442.
A single, global system for the identification of legal entities is expected to reduce costs for businesses as well as for the entire financial market. Furthermore, it will improve risk management and encourage transparency on the financial markets.
This is thanks to a reduction in the number of mistakes made during business transactions but also due to lower costs in data matching and maintenance when reporting to regulating authorities. Being able to unambiguously identify contractual partners also reinforces important business processes and reduces risks incurred by businesses.
The requirement for you to have an LEI depends on national and supranational authorities. Currently LEI are required primarily in the United States under the Dodd-Frank Act and in the European Union in line with requirements according to the EMIR and AIFM directive requirements.
Since 1 January 2016, in Switzerland the LEI has been part of the requirements introduced with the Financial Market Infrastructure Act of 19 June 2015 (SR 958.1 - Finfra G) regarding derivatives trading (see. Appendix 2 of the Ordinance of 25 November 2015 on Finfra G (FMIO) regarding the use of the LEI when reporting derivatives transactions to the transactions register.
Since 01.12.2017 LEI-Switzerland has been officially accredited by GLEIF as an international LEI issuer. LEIs issued by LEI-Switzerland are officially recognised by all GLEIF members and can therefore be used globally for supervisory purposes (in particular reporting in accordance with the EMIR and Dodd-Frank Act).
The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) manages only LEIs of legal entities according to Swiss law. Entities located abroad – with the exception of those belonging to a Swiss enterprise group – have to apply to another LOU in order to receive an LEI.
Applications to LEI-Switzerland can only be made online at www.lei.admin.ch.
LEIs are issued in accordance with GLEIF regulations on a cost-covering basis only. You can see a list of current prices on our overview page.
You can pay for your order via an online pay service (PostFinance) using a credit card. If you choose this option, the relevant LEIs will be available straight after the payment has been made.
Or you can pay the amount due via a bank transfer (payment by invoice). If you choose this option we will send you our bank details by email. Please note that in this case an additional administrative fee of CHF 20 will be charged and that the relevant LEIs will only be activated once the payment has been received and validated.
You can create a user account on LEI-Switzerland (www.lei.admin.ch) with a user name and password and then order one or more LEIs online. Detailed instructions will soon be available in chapter 3 of the user manual.
As long as an LEI manager has the necessary authorisation, they can request several LEIs in the same order. In future it should also be possible to apply for several LEIs by means of a bulk order (Excel or CSV document).
You can upload all documents and credentials during the application process as attachments.
If the LEI manager making the application has signing authority themselves, they must attach proof of identity to the application (scan/photo of an ID card or passport). If the signature is a joint one, please attach a copy of the other person’s proof of identity.
If your business is part of a multicorporate enterprise and associated with a direct or ultimate parent company, we also need at least one document confirming the existence of this association. This could be a consolidated annual report, for example. It is important that all associated businesses are mentioned by name in such a document. Further information on documents confirming the relationship to the parent company is available in chapter 3.3 of the LEI manual.
The following data are published in connection with each LEI:
- Legal entity's official name (as listed in the UID register).
- Legal form (as listed in the UID register)
- Legal domicile address (as listed in the UID register)
- Headquarters’ address
- Date first LEI issued
- Date of latest updates to information saved
- LEI expiry date
Any legal entity wishing to receive an LEI or renew its present one, must also indicate its business relationships in the section “Information on the corporate structure”. If your business has a direct (and ultimate) parent company, this information will be published too. Information is available in an XML dataset, provided the associated parent company has an LEI.
and in the publication of the ROC Oversight Committee (Ch. 3.3.1):
This depends on the type of application and generally takes less than 3 working days. Once you have submitted your application, LEI-Switzerland needs to process your request and your payment has to be validated.
The LEI can be issued as soon as we receive your payment. When paying online by credit card you will receive your LEI immediately. When paying by invoice the LEI will be activated once your payment has been received.
In order to avoid duplicates, we first we check whether an LEI has already been issued under the same name or address.
To ensure the high quality of the globally used LEI information, LEI-Switzerland then compares your details with other public sources. This guarantees the accuracy of all information saved and published in connection with your LEI.
No. Each legal entity receives only a single LEI that can be used worldwide.
Further LEIs are only necessary if a legally independent subsidiary is domiciled abroad and needs an LEI in connection with its financial market transactions and their reporting, for example.
In principle, there is no time limit to your LEI. After your initial application it is valid for the next 12 months and must then be renewed each year for a fee.
To do this you confirm once a year that the authentication data are up to date in order to renew the LEI's validity for another year.
You will receive an automatic reminder at the email address you gave us 60 days, and again at 30 days prior to expiry.
Should you discover an error in the data in your user account, you can change the information stored in your user account directly at LEI-Switzerland.
Should there be any change to information concerning your LEI, you can inform us via a LEI change request. You can only correct the head office address and company structure information yourself. All other company information is automatically taken from the responsible registers (e.g. the Commercial Register) and updated at LEI Switzerland.
Please note: Should a business's legal domicile change, the LEI remains valid as long as it still concerns the same legal entity. In this case, all that needs to be done is to update the business data.
You can challenge any LEI data set at www.GLEIF.org. The subsequent error notification will be dealt with by the relevant LOU.
Further explanations (questions and answers) about challenges can be found on the following GLEIF web page: https://www.gleif.org/en/lei-data/challenge-lei-data/questions-and-answers.
Use the “search” function to find all LEIs managed by LEI-Switzerland. This includes all LEIs issued by LEI-Switzerland as well as LEIs from other issuers that have since been transferred to LEI-Switzerland. Under “LEI Download” you can also download in XML format a list of all LEIs updated on a daily basis, including changes (Deltas).
To search the global LEI data, you can use a search prepared by the GLEIF at www.gleif.org.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) was established in 2009 and is an international body with its seat in Basel that oversees the global financial system, making recommendations and coordinating international work in the financial markets sector.
The Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee (ROC) is an internationally recognised committee of more than 60 authorities from around the world. The ROC brings together central banks, ministries of finance and supervisory authorities, coordinating and supervising the global LEI system (GLEIS).
The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) is a non-profit foundation established in accordance with Swiss law (CHE-200.595.965). It is tasked with supporting the implementation and use of the LEI as well as creating the framework for LOU governance. The responsibilities of the GLEIF include coordination and supervision of the LOUs’ activities, reception from the LOUs of all applications for an LEI allocation, the issue of the LEI to the entities that have applied for one and the distribution of the information defined in ISO standard 17442:2012 to the entities to which it has allocated an LEI. The GLEIF also acts as an interface between the ROC and LOUs.
The Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS) is a global system for the standardised identification of financial market participants that was commissioned by the Financial Stability Board (www.fsb.org) on behalf of the G20.
The Local Operating Unit (LOU) is a local unit that is responsible for issuing LEIs and for their registration, renewal and other services. The LOU acts as the primary interface for entities that apply for an LEI. Authorisation takes place via the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), which examines the suitability of organisations wishing to become an LEI issuer and to function as a depository for the reference data of legal entities within the framework of the global LEI system.