SSL certificates are now an essential element of every site. They keep sensitive data safe, verify website ownership, convey trust to users, and prevent phishing attacks. On top of that, all browsers require SSL and flag unencrypted sites as not secure if they don’t have a valid certificate. In this article, we’ll show you how to get a BV or EV SSL validation faster than the traditional way.

For blogs, online portfolios, and smaller businesses, getting an SSL cert is quick and easy. Since such sites don’t deal with financial transactions, a Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificate is enough to encrypt user data. But DV certs, while available within 5 minutes, verify domain ownership only and not the entity behind the website.

Most organizations, e-commerce platforms, and financial institutions need to provide customers with a higher assurance that they are genuine and trustworthy. To achieve this trust, companies opt for Business Validation (BV) or Extended Validation (EV) certificates. This way, the legal entity operating a website is independently verified by a third-party Certificate Authority.

The benefits of BV and EV SSL certs go beyond data encryption and authentication.  Along with enhanced customer trust, they help businesses comply with PCI( Payment Card Industry Requirements) and include high SSL warranties against potential data breaches.

The only inconvenience when dealing with BV and EV certificates is the application process. When applying for such a certificate for the first time, you have to provide information about your company to the CA. And to make things more tricky, Sectigo and DigiCert, the leading CAs in the high-assurance market, have slightly different validation procedures. 

When your company information is publicly available via a public government database or verified pubic third-party databases, waiting time varies between 1-3 business days. However, if you need to provide additional paperwork, the whole thing could drag on for an entire week. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution called the LEI code. It speeds up SSL validation and also benefits your company in other areas.

Before discussing LEI codes, let’s see how a typical Business Validation and Extended Validation occurs at DigiCert and Sectigo.

DigiCert

On DigiCert SSL Certificates, the two validation processes are identical. Digicert requires you to provide your DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number, and your DUNS profile needs to display your phone number. If your DUNS listing does not contain a phone number,  you need to contact Dun & Bradstreet and ask them to add your phone number to their “business directory and on the report.”

This update alone takes a few days and delays the validation process. Once your number is updated, you need to contact DigiCert and notify them. DigiCert will proceed with the callback verification process to verify your phone number. Only after this step is completed you’ll receive your certificate.  

Sometimes, adding your phone number to your DNS listing may take too long. In such a situation, you have to send DigiCert a scanned notarized letter with your company name, address, and phone number and then wait for the callback. It’s quite tedious for what should be a straightforward process.

Sectigo

If sectigo can’t check your legal existence via a public database it will require one of the following documents:

  • an official registration document, such as Articles of Incorporation, Government Issued Business License
  • a copy of a recent: company bank statement, company phone bill, or major company utility bill  (i.e. power bill, water bill, etc.).

Moreover, when you request an Extended Validation certificate from Sectigo, you need to sign the agreement using a digital signature and upload it directly to Sectigo.

Sectigo uses four callback options to validate the company’s phone numbers:

  • Yellow pages databases
  • DUNS
  • Local phone database
  • A notarized letter to Sectigo

As you can see, obtaining a BV or EV SSL certificate could take a while if your company’s details arent up-to-date, or you’re from a jurisdiction where verifying publicly available databases takes time. 

In today’s dynamic world, most companies don’t have the luxury to wait when it comes to data encryption, user trust, and business transparency. 

That’s why having your legal information publicly available on an easily accessible global database is a necessity. 

So how can you get a BV or EV SSL cert faster?

One such database is the Global LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) Index – the only worldwide online source that provides open, standardized, and high-quality legal entity reference data. To include your company there, you need an LEI code. 

What is an LEI code?

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20-character reference code, similar to a bar code used across markets and jurisdictions to enable consistent and accurate identification of all legal entities that are parties to financial transactions, including non-financial institutions. 

An LEI number is designed to answer three critical questions when entering a corporate financial transaction: who is who, who owns whom, and who owns what. You can find detailed info about LEI in our comprehensive LEI codes guide.

Who needs an LEI code?

All legal entities such as fonds, unions, banks, and insurance companies, operating with financial transactions, stocks, bonds, and other securities, are required by law to have an LEI number. 

Many charities, sole traders, limited companies, and organizations that want to speed up the SSL validation process apply for an LEI code even if it’s not mandatory for them.

However, any company could benefit from an LEI Code because it does more than authenticate legal status. LEI facilitates and streamlines SSL validation – a mandatory procedure for companies that choose Business or Extended SSL validation. An LEI code helps Certificate Authorities perform all the security and legal checks faster.

How does the LEI code accelerate SSL validation?

The LEI code contains the following data:

  • Legal entity or fund’s manager official name
  • Registry name and registry number
  • Company’s legal form
  • ISO country code
  • Headquarters’ address
  • Date when the LEI was first issued
  • Date when the LEI expires
  • Date of the last change of information

The LEI system is backed by a foolproof verification method. This is guaranteed by the issuer’s maintenance of all respective reference and identification data. Moreover, this data is sufficient for verifying the authenticity of an entity’s revealed identification.

When you request a Business Validation or an Extended Validation certificate, the CA can quickly check the freely accessible, and frequently updated entity reference data of your LEI code. But that’s not all! 

Not only humans, but also machines can verify the LEI database via the web, API, or full dataset download, thus further reducing the SSL validation time.

After removing the EV indicator and capping the SSL validity to just one year, the CA/Browser Forum is now looking at a potential integration of LEIs into the SSL issuing process. 

The LEI is already a source of Know Your Customer (KYC) for B2B onboarding connecting all the regional or private sector identifiers.  And just like SSL certificates, the LEI must be renewed annually to remain active, and renewal requires revalidation of the company’s details.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity awareness is on the rise. As the Internet continues to evolve, the security of commerce becomes more and more significant. Business Validation and Extended Validation SSL certificates are crucial security features of enterprise websites. Besides unbreakable encryption, they ensure rigorous vetting of business credentials and offer the highest authenticity.

Legal Entity Identifiers are not yet integrated with all types of digital certificates, but you can obtain an SSL Certificate with an LEI significantly faster than you’d do with traditional paperwork. The LEI is standardized across all jurisdictions and endorsed by the G20 and the Financial Stability Board

LEIs provide the ultimate transparency that can mitigate and even avert the biggest financial risks. You can learn more about LEI codes’ history and benefits by reading our LEI guideTo get an LEI code for your company, check our plans and pricing here.