The league was formed in 1896, had a two year hiatus between 1901 and 1903, and has run continuously since 1903 apart from during the two world wars and a four-year spell in the 1930s. A second division was added in 1948.
The league currently has two divisions, the Premier Division and Division One, and is a feeder to the East Midlands Counties Football League. The Football Association classifies the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division as Step 7, due to the quality of football played and the standard of the grounds on which teams play. The First Division is therefore not part of the NLS, meaning that clubs in that division are not eligible to take part in the FA Vase. An application to re-grade the Premier Division to Step 6 was turned down by the FA in 2006.