Two type of IPI-numbers exist:
The IP Name Number is the code for a name or pseudonym related to an entity (natural person or a legal entity). One entity can have several names. Prince for example has the IPI-codes 00045620792 (Nelson Prince Rogers), 00052210040 (Prince) and 00334284961 (Nelson Prince R).
 The IPI Name Number is composed of eleven numeric digits.
The IPI Base Number is the code for a natural person or a legal entity. It has the pattern H-NNNNNNNNN-C.
For example Pablo Picasso has the IP Base Number I-001068130-6.
IPI codes are connected with International Standard Musical Work Codes (ISWC). For example, one of the songs called Ernie, which has an ISWC number of T-010.171.314-7, has just one interested party, that of Benny Hill whose IPI number is 00014107338. This IPI number can then be used to find all other works by him.
In relation to ISWC each party has at least one role. Roles can be:
The standards describe the person who adapts music as an arranger, and the person who adapts the text of a musical work to be an adapter.