How to Obtain a Legal Entity Identifier Code in Estonia?

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The LEI code simplifies identifying financial entities by offering a unique and unambiguous reference number to which all relevant information about the entity can be linked. The purpose of this document is to explain how Estonian members of EDB will benefit from an LEI code.

  1. Global creditworthiness information is unambiguous without country specification.
  2. Estonian members of EDB can enjoy a free LEI code service provided by the Estonian Business Registry.
  3. Estonian members of EDB will get accurate credit rating information, which is currently impossible due to the lack of legal codes in Estonia for financial firms. According to IOSCO, the purpose of LEI is to provide a standard global reference number for financial entities.

Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (FSA) is a public authority that issues the LEI code in Estonia. Companies can apply for a legal entity identifier code by writing an official letter to the Estonian FSA. This should be done with a document confirming the company’s identification and justifying its necessary to have a legal entity identifier code.

Step 1 – Select the jurisdiction.

Selection of Jurisdiction plays a very important role in LEI code registration and renewal, especially when considering that your company demands a registration in Estonia you should fall onto certain criteria and protocols that plays a vital role for your business to flow in the particular region, especially when you are registering a legal entity. Estonia is a great option for a company formed as a non-resident in the European Union, here are other options closer to your target market or headquarters.

Step 2 – Choose your entity type and tax residency.

Once you have selected the country of formation, consider what type of business entity best meets your needs. For example, in Estonia, this can be Limited Liability Company (LLC), Public Limited Company (PLC), Private Limited Company (Ltd.), European Cooperative Society (SCE). If you choose SCE, please note it cannot operate outside of Europe. It must also have less than 50 members.

Before establishing your business entity, you will need to decide whether it is a tax resident or not in Estonia. A non-resident company cannot conduct business operations until its residence status has been established.

Step 3 – Register an Estonian branch office of your foreign legal entity.

Once you have set up the business entity, if during the incorporation process you had indicated that the business was not taxed resident in Estonia, then a separate registration must be made for the place of effective management and taxation (PEMT). You can do this by completing and submitting:

  1. Notification form for PEMT
  2. A standard contract of representation & mandate for PEMT.

Step 4 – Submit a request for an LEI code on behalf of your legal entity.

Registering a new entity can take time. It takes a minimum of 24 hours to set up the company in some countries, while more complex cases may require several weeks or more to complete all necessary steps. To start trading and accessing credit, you will need an LEI code from your home jurisdiction, but this should be applied concurrently with your registration in Estonia. The good news is that obtaining the LEI is very straightforward. Once you have submitted all required documentation, then append an additional document stating that – “we would like to obtain an LEI code on behalf of our legal entity” and send this to:

Step 5 – Get your D-U-N-S number and register with CREST.

Registering for a D-U-N-S Number usually just takes a few minutes, as does registering with CREST as a Subscribing Member, which is necessary to access the UK financial system. Both of these steps are necessary prior to obtaining the LEI code. We would also recommend opening a UK company bank account at this time. Once you have these in place, you can apply for your LEI code using the official application form.