LEI stands for Legal Entity Identifier.
If you want to invest via your Estonian company, you will first need to apply for this code.
Typically, the application for the LEI is done via your bank.
You’ll have to fill out and sign a few documents (using the DigiDoc card reader and your e-Residency card).
You simply open the DigiDoc client and import the documents which need to be signed.
You put all documents into one container and sign it. Afterwards, you forward those files to your bank contact.
There is an application as well as an annual renewal fee for the LEI.
The Global Legal Entity Identifier System accredits Local Operating Units (LOU) for the issuance of the LEI.
Sounds very confusing and complex, right?
Basically, the GLE is the foundation, but it does not issue LEI codes directly and instead this is done via local partners in various countries. These partners are called Local Operating Units (LOU).
For example, Bloomberg Finance LP is such an LOU.
As of today, the fee for a new LEI registration is $65 USD.
Most likely, you will pay more as your bank will do the registration for you and there’s some administrative work, so they’ll add their fees on top.
The annual renewal fee is $50 USD.
If you plan on investing, you shouldn’t worry about these fees. The alternative would be keeping your money in your checking account or doing a term deposit.
In both cases, you’d get so little interest that you’d be losing out on A LOT of money!
How long until you receive your LEI code?
It took slightly over 1 working day for me to receive that code.
How & When To Use Your LEI?
The LEI code is not something you actively need to use when buying securities (such as an ETF); it’s simply a code assigned to your Estonian company.