An Authoritative Legal Entity Identifier (ALEI) is an identifier issued by a government agency to identify a legal entity. Government agencies issue ALEIs when they register the formation of an organization, for example, a company or when they register a birth.
There may be several numbers on a birth certificate or on a company certificate of formation. One of these will be the ALEI; this is often called the file or record number, and it is the reference number used by the agency to identify the legal entity.
Today, it is common to identify trading partners by their names without any effort to check that those names (or the spelling of the names) are correct; this leads to the creation of duplicate supplier or customer records.
By having the ALEI and the correct legal name, one can avoid this problem. You should know your own ALEI and legal name, as well as those of your trading partners.
You should put your ALEI on your business card and in your email signature. This web site is designed to help you look up your ALEI and legal name, as well as those of your trading partners.