Who needs an LEI number?

The short answer is that all companies in the EU that trade in securities need an LEI number.

On 3 January 2018, new European rules came into force - called Mifid 2 / Mifir - where requirements for natural and legal persons performing securities transactions must be identifiable in a clear and transparent manner.

This applies to the various company forms:

Limited company

If you have a limited company and intend to make securities transactions, you must have an LEI number.

Sole proprietorship

No, individual companies do not need to have an LEI number if they do not trade in derivative instruments. If you buy ordinary shares through your individual company, you do not need an LEI number, as you will instead be identified by your social security number.

Trading company

Yes, a trading company must have an LEI number to be able to trade shares.


Yes, the same goes for foundations. You need an LEI number.


Yes, associations need LEI numbers.

However, there is one exception that applies to all company forms, and that is if you trade your securities through endowment insurance. Then it is instead the insurance company that is formally considered to be the holder of the securities.

Are you unsure if your company has an LEI number? Use our LEI lookup