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In a limited company, the liability of members or subscribers of the
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal person, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common pu ...

company
is limited to what they have invested or guaranteed to the company. Limited companies may be limited by
share Share may refer to: * Share, to make joint use of a resource (such as food, money, or space); see Sharing * Share (finance), a stock or other financial security (such as a mutual fund) * Share, Kwara, a town and LGA in Kwara State, Nigeria Share ma ...
s or by
guarantee Guarantee is a legal term more comprehensive and of higher import than either warranty In contract A contract is a legally binding document between at least two parties that defines and governs the rights and duties of the parties to an agreem ...
. The former may be further divided in public companies (
public limited companies A public limited company (legally abbreviated to PLC or plc) is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, some Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth jurisdictions, and the Republic of Ireland. It is a limited liability company who ...
) and private companies (
private limited companies A private limited company is any type of business entity in Privately held company, "private" ownership used in many jurisdictions, in contrast to a Public company, publicly listed company, with some differences from country to country. Examples ...
). Who may become a member of a private limited company is restricted by law and by the company's rules. In contrast, anyone may buy shares in a public limited company. Limited companies can be found in most countries, although the detailed rules governing them vary widely. It is also common for a distinction to be made between the publicly tradable companies of the ''plc'' type (for example, the
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
Aktiengesellschaft (; abbreviated AG, ) is a German word for a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private ...
(AG), Belgian nv,
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
PLC,
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
a.s.,
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
S.p.A.,
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...

Hungarian
Nyrt. and the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
French
French
,
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...

Polish
,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
and
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Euro ...

Romanian
S.A.), and the "
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
" types of company (such as the German GmbH, Belgian bv,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
Lda., British Ltd., Polish sp. z o.o., Russian ООО,
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...

Ukrainian
ТОВ (TOV), the Czech s.r.o., the French s.a.r.l., the Italian s.r.l., Romanian s.r.l., Hungarian kft., Macedonian ДОО (DOO), Slovenian d.o.o., and
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...

Slovak
s.r.o.


Types


Private company limited by guarantee

This is a company that does not have share capital, but is guaranteed by its ''members'', who agree to pay a fixed amount in the event of the company's liquidation.
Charitable organisation A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the Worl ...
s are often incorporated using this form of limited liability. Another example is the
Financial Conduct Authority The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Tel ...
. In Australia, only an unlisted public company can be limited by guarantee.


Private company limited by shares

Has shareholders with limited liability and its shares may not be offered to the general public. Shareholders of private companies limited by shares are always bound to offer the shares to their fellow shareholders prior to selling them to a third party.


Public limited company

A public limited company can be
publicly traded A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company A public limited company (legally abbreviated to PLC or plc) is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, som ...
on a
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated community in Green Township, Morgan County, Indiana, Green To ...
; this is similar to the
U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...

U.S.
Corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...

Corporation
(Corp.) and the
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
Aktiengesellschaft (; abbreviated AG, ) is a German word for a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private ...
(AG).


In specific countries


Australia

The private company equivalent in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
is the
Proprietary Limited company A proprietary company, (abbreviated as 'Pty.'), is a form of privately held company A privately held company or private company is a company which does not offer or trade its company stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists ...
(Pty Ltd). An Australian company with only ''Limited'' or ''Ltd'' after its name is a
public company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a company whose ownership is organized via shares of share capital, stock which are intended to be freely traded on a stock ...
, such as a company listed on the
ASX ASX is the Australian Securities Exchange. ASX may also refer to: * Advanced Stream Redirector The Advanced Stream Redirector (ASX) format is a type of XML metafile designed to store a playlist A playlist is a list of video or audio file ...
. Australia does not have a direct equivalent to the plc. A shareholder in a limited company, in the event of its becoming
insolvent In accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to comp ...
(equivalent to
insolvency In accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as businesses and corporations. Accounting, which has been call ...
in the United Kingdom) would be liable to contribute the amount remaining unpaid on the shares (usually zero, as most shares are issued fully paid). "Paid" here relates to the amount paid to the company for the shares on first issue, and should not be confused with amounts paid by one shareholder to another to transfer ownership of shares between them. A shareholder is thus afforded limited liability.


Brazil

In
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, a limited company is registered as any other type of company. To register it, you must pay an accountant to research the name of your future business to check if it wasn't already registered, then the accountant contacts the offices responsible for giving you the CNPJ (the national code for company identification), which are the commercial joint of the state and the IRS. After that the Ltda. or Lda. (rarely used) suffixes can be placed after the companies name or with Cia. (abbreviation for ''companhia'', company in Portuguese): ompany name& Cia. Ltda.


Canada

In Canada, a person wishing to register a limited company must file ''
Articles of Incorporation Articles of incorporation, also referred to as the certificate of incorporation or the corporate charter, are a document or charter that establishes the existence of a corporation in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. o ...
'' with either their provincial government or the federal government. At the time of incorporation, a company must elect to use "Limited" (Ltd.), "Incorporated" (Inc.) or "Corporation" (Corp.) as part of their name.


India

In India, there are three types of limited company: a public limited company, a private limited company, and a one-person company. A company's liability may be limited by shares, in which case the liability of the company's members is limited to the amount of the shares held by them, or it may be limited by guarantee, in which case the liability is limited to a predetermined amount the company's members have agreed to contribute if the company is dissolved with outstanding liabilities. A private limited company is a limited company incorporated under the
Companies Act 2013 The Companies Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of India on Indian company law which regulates incorporation of a company, responsibilities of a company, directors, dissolution of a company. The 2013 Act is divided into 29 chapters containing 4 ...
(or one of its predecessor acts), with a minimum paid-up
share capital __NOTOC__ A corporation's share capitalGlossary on Trade Financing Terms - S
in the U ...
(if any) of , with an article that restricts the transfer of its shares; it may have between two and two hundred members, and its name ends with "Private Limited" (abbreviated Pvt Ltd). A public limited company must have a paid-up share capital of at least , and at least seven members; its name ends "Limited" (abbreviated Ltd). A one-person company (OPC) is a private company with similar proprietorship and privileges to a private limited company, but with fewer requirements; this type of company may have only one director and member. Before 2015, the business organisations that wanted to take up a company as the preferred form of business organisation had to fulfill the requirement of minimum paid-up share capital of not less than 5 lakhs in case of public company and 1 lakh in case of private companies by way of Section 2(71) and 2(68) respectively. However, after in the recen
Companies Amendment Act 2015
this requirement is scrapped, and a company can go ahead with its incorporation without fulfilling this criterion.


Nigeria

In
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
, there are two types of limited companies namely: a company limited by guarantee and a company limited by
shares In financial markets A financial market is a market in which people trade financial securities and derivatives at low transaction costs. Some of the securities include stocks and bonds, raw materials and precious metals, which are known ...
. The company limited by shares is further divided into two namely a
Private limited company A private limited company is any type of business entity in Privately held company, "private" ownership used in many jurisdictions, in contrast to a Public company, publicly listed company, with some differences from country to country. Examples ...
(Ltd.) and a
Public limited company A public limited company (legally abbreviated to PLC or plc) is a type of public company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a company whose ownership is or ...
(Plc.) In Nigeria
shareholders A shareholder (in the United States often referred to as stockholder) of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal en ...
of limited companies are only liable for the amount of money they contributed to the company. All Nigerian companies are governed by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 and regulated by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).


South Africa

In
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
, the term "Proprietary Limited", abbreviated "(Pty) Ltd", is used to refer to a private limited company. All South African companies are regulated by the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission).


Sri Lanka

In
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
, businesses can be registered as Private Limited Company "(Pvt) Ltd", Public Limited Company "PLC" or under a sole proprietorship. Registering as Private Limited Company will be more secure, and have added benefits. Therefore, you and your company will act as two independent parties; ensuring that your business assets and liabilities will be separate. All companies are registered under the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007., through the Registrar of Companies, which operates its office in
Colombo Colombo ( si, කොළඹ, translit=Koḷam̆ba, ; ta, கொழும்பு, translit=Koḻumpu, ) is the commercial capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction betwe ...

Colombo
.


United Kingdom

The registration of companies in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
is done through
Companies House Companies House is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Ki ...
, which operates offices in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
,
Cardiff Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital city of Wales and a Local government in Wales, county. Officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, it is the United Kingdom's eleventh-largest city and the main commercial centre of Wales. Cardi ...

Cardiff
,
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
and
Belfast Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a popul ...

Belfast
. Prior to 1 October 2009, the registration of companies in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
was the responsibility of the
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment The Department for the Economy (DfE, ga, An Roinn Geilleagair) is a devolved Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ') is #Descriptions, variously described as a country, pr ...
(a department of the devolved government). On the commencement of the
Companies Act 2006 The Companies Act 2006 (c 46) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the of the , the and the . It alone possesses and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the ...
, Northern Ireland's previously distinct company law was repealed and the new companies code instituted by that Act was extended to Northern Ireland.


United States

In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
,
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...

corporation
s have limited liability, and the expression ''corporation'' is preferred to ''limited company''. A "
limited liability company A limited liability company (LLC) is the US-specific form of a private limited company A private limited company is any type of business entity in Privately held company, "private" ownership used in many jurisdictions, in contrast to a Pu ...
" (LLC) is a different entity. However, some states permit corporations to have the designation ''Ltd.'' (instead of the usual ''Inc.'') to signify their corporate status. A limited company must file annual tax returns ("corporation" tax returns) with the
Securities and Exchange Commission The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a large independent agency of the United States federal government, created in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Cras ...
.


Zimbabwe

In
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individ ...

Zimbabwe
the term "(Pvt) Ltd" refers to a private company limited by share capital. All private entities are regulated by the Registrar of Companies in Harare.


See also

*
Company formation Company formation is the term for the process of incorporation (business), incorporation of a business in the UK. It is also sometimes referred to as company registration. These terms are both also used when incorporating a business in the Republic ...
(UK) *
Limited liability partnership A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a partnership in which some or all partners (depending on the jurisdiction) have limited liabilities. It therefore can exhibit elements of partnerships and corporations. In an LLP, each partner is not ...
(LLP) *
Share capital __NOTOC__ A corporation's share capitalGlossary on Trade Financing Terms - S
in the U ...
*
Types of business entity Type may refer to: Science and technology Computing * Typing Typing is the process of writing or inputting text by pressing keys on a typewriter A typewriter is a or machine for characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of , a ...
*
Unlimited company An unlimited company or private unlimited company is a hybrid company (corporation) incorporated with or without a share capital (and similar to its limited liability, limited company counterpart) but where the legal liability of the members or ...
*
Yūgen gaisha A , abbreviated in English as "Y.K." or "Co., Ltd.", is a form of business organization in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a disti ...
*
Privately held company A privately held company or private company is a company which does not offer or trade its company stock In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all of the shares In financial markets A financial market is a market in whi ...


References


External links


Limited liability company
UK
Business Link Business Link was a government-funded business advice and guidance service in England. It consisted of an online portal managed by HM Revenue and Customs , type = Non-ministerial government department , seal = , logo = HM Revenue & Custom ...
{{Authority control
Legal entitiesThis category contains articles related to juristic or natural person In jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nature of law in its most general form and ...
Types of business entity ja:株式会社