The Smart Way to Manage your ALEI Data

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What is an ALEI ?

An Authoritative Legal Entity Identifier (ALEI) is issued by a government register when a company is formed; it is the registration or file number (or combination of letters and numbers) on the company’s registration certificate. It is recorded in the government register along with the legal name and date of incorporation.

The website is designed to help you look up your ALEI in your government jurisdiction register and then format your ALEI in accordance with ISO 8000. You can also create your own record and create an ALEI hyperlink that you can use in your email signature line as shown in the following example:

Peter R Benson | Executive Director
ECCMA | | ISO 8000 ALEI: [US-DE.BER:3031657]

ALEI Key Facts

The business register as a representative of government is the "creator" of corporations as legal entities or Juridical persons; the corporation is given by the business register its first and primary identifier at the moment of its creation. ISO distinguishes between Authoritative and Proxy identifiers. Hence the identifier assigned by the business register is the Authoritative Legal Entity Identifier (ALEI), while all others are proxy identifiers.

Click the image for an overview presentation on Authoritative Legal Entity Identifiers and how they relate to other legal entity identifiers

ISO 8000-116 simply describes how to construct a prefix to turn a local authoritative legal entity identifier into a globally unique legal entity identifier; one places a prefix in front of the ALEI that points to the jurisdiction and government business register which issued that identifier. ISO 8000-116 is an application of ISO 8000-115. ISO 8000-115 describes how any identifier can be upgraded to a "quality Identifier" by adding a registered prefix that identifies the owner (issuer) of the identifier and the address(s) where the identifier can be verified. Just like legal entity identifiers, any identifier can be an authoritative identifier or a proxy identifier. An authoritative identifier is "issued by an organization that is the originator of the object identified.”

Relevant Presentations at annual meetings of the Corporate Registers Forum:
ISO Standards and Business Registries by Hayley Thompson (2022)
ALEI and ISO 8000-116 by Peter Benson (2021)

ALEI Benefits

There are a number of benefits associated with using the ALEI formatted in accordance with ISO 8000-116 and verifying the ALEI, legal name, date of origin, and status in the government business register where it was granted its legal existence. Some of these benefits are:

Positive identification of trading partners through authoritative data source

Easy to access, secure, trustworthy, up-to-date government data

Faster onboarding of new trading partners

Mitigation of risk of trading with unknown or unverified entities (see How Corporate Identity Fraud Works)

Identification of duplicated entities in customer and supplier master data records (30% duplication in customer or supplier master data is common) ; see Identifying and Resolving Duplicates in Master Data

Allowing the creation of organization relationship models (who owns whom)


Easy to implement (only applies to data, no application changes)

Easier to exchange data, reduces errors

Easier to implement localization goals

Easier to implement United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Easier to map value-added identifiers (LEI, D-U-N-S, GS1, etc.) to each other

To learn more about the ALEI, onboarding suppliers, and maintaining a high quality supplier master, see ECCMA’s January 2022 webinar.

ALEI Use Cases

An ALEI is used to verify the legal name of a company and its status as well as when it was formed. Today, it is common to identify companies by their names without checking that those names (or the spelling of the names) are correct; this leads to the creation of duplicate supplier or customer records and increased risk of fraud.

Adding to your record

The website is designed to make it easier for companies to onboard suppliers. Everyone needs essentially the same data so making it available as ISO 8000 portable data speeds up the process and allows the data to be used in many different applications.

ECCMA validates the ALEI, legal name, date of origin and status with the government registry before it is posted to, so this data can not be changed. You can, however, request a password to add additional public or private data that your trading partners may need to complete the onboarding process. Public data is viewable by anyone, but your private data is only visible to you and to those to whom you send a one-time link.

There is no cost to add data to your record.