If you’re planning to start a business in India, there are certain regulations you need to know and stay compliant with to stay out of trouble.
Arguably, it’s the least fun part of actually becoming a business owner, but a necessary one nonetheless. To get you on the right path in the shortest amount of time possible, we’ve compiled a go-to guide designed to answer your most burning questions about the legal entity identifier and getting one in India. But before we delve into the details, a brief introduction to the subject at hand is in order…
A brief introduction to Legal Entity Identifier
A Legal Entity Identifier (or LEI for short) is code consisting of 20 characters and is unique to your business. It was designed to add to the transparency of your financial transactions and increase trust in your company. Depending on the type of business that you’re running, you’re obligated to register for one.
“The LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) is a standard that has been adopted to increase transparency of transactions between organisations that cross regional jurisdictions.” – Lei-worldwide.com
Do note, however, that a LEI is not a substitute for the company’s national registry code.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at how a typical LEI number is structured.
The structure of LEI
Unlike what it may seem at the first glance, the LEI code is mostly random, but not entirely. In any case, there’s a standardized system to it. To help you understand better, we’ll be breaking it down piece by piece.
But first, take a look at the example below:
- 3358 00 A1B2C3D4F5G6 90
- Numbers 1-4 indicate the region (3358 stands for India).
- Numbers 5-6 are always zeroes.
- Numbers 7-18 are randomized and unique to your company.
- Numbers 19-20 are checksum (used for identification purposes).
The global objective of LEI
LEI is an international standard that applies to India as well. The main idea behind it is to have a registration number attached to every single legal entity around the world. The goal is not only to create a standard and a good reference point for the the customers to gather data from, but also to up your company’s credibility and trustworthiness in the public eye.
“In the kingdom of glass everything is transparent, and there is no place to hide a dark heart.” – Vera Nazarian
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In essence, if everything is transparent, market abuse becomes harder to pull off.
Who needs to register for LEI in India?
Obtaining an LEI in India is mandatory if you’re performing transactions in any of the following markets:
- Credit derivative
- Interest rate
In addition to that, if your company has an aggregate fund-based and non-fund-based exposure of credit (over RS 5 crore), you need an LEI.
What does LEI reveal about a company or an organization?
As we’ve already established, having a LEI is all about company transparency. By looking it up, important bits and pieces of data are revealed, such as its name and location, country of registration, etc. Supervisors, as well as potential customers, can tap into that valuable source before doing business with the company or auditing it. Everything one needs to find out is public knowledge that can be accessed through the official GLEIF website.
Who is in charge of issuing an LEI?
In every region, there are authorized LEI operators. With that being said, you are free to get help from an unofficial registration agents as well. To avoid any confusion, these are service providers who will assist you in the process of applying for an LEI code.
What does it cost to obtain an LEI?
The price depends on how many years of validity you wish to purchase. The more you purchase in advance, the less it will cost you per year. Note that in the event of purchasing a single year of validity, there will be renewal fees you’ll be asked to pay on an annual basis.
The implications of not having a valid LEI
Before doing any types of financial transactions specified in the beginning of the article, it’s extremely important to have a valid LEI code. Otherwise, an investment service provider may refuse to do business with you.
Should you expect long waiting queues when registering?
Not at all. In fact, your application may be processed in less than a day. As you might have guessed, the prerequisite is providing all the documents necessary and completing the payment.
Gathering additional resources
When in the process of obtaining a legal entity identifier, many people naturally gravitate towards https://www.ccilindia-lei.co.in/, but the latter website tends to be rather confusing. Thus, they are left wondering and with an even greater amount of questions than they had in the beginning. Plus, it takes a considerable amount of time to receive your LEI that way.
According to user feedback, the LEI Register India website is a much user-friendlier alternative that outlines everything you need to know in simple and understandable terms. In other words, it allows you to get to the nitty and gritty without being an expert in business law or understand any of the so-called legal mumbo jumbo. If you want to get up and running in regards to obtaining an LEI in the shortest amount of time possible, it’s the number one resource available.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to it. It’s easy to get distracted and lose sight of the goal, but if you truly want to run a company in its fullest sense of the word, getting the LEI number is one of the steps that you should take somewhere down the road. Despite the fact that having one is mandatory for starting certain types of businesses in India, it will help you maintain a good standing not only with the local authorities, but also help your customers trust you more. In the end, transparency is an element of trust. Therefore, getting your LEI code is not to be viewed as a cost; rather, one should view it as an investment.
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