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Types of Companies


There are four main different kinds of UK companies which can be registered. Each might be suitable in specific situations, although to some extent, more than one type of company may satisfy the particular requirements of the founder.

The different types of company in the UK are: companies limited by shares (“Limited”), companies limited by guarantee, public limited companies (PLCs), limited liability partnerships (“LLP”), limited partnerships, overseas companies registered in the UK.

Private company limited by shares – is by far the most common form of business entity in the UK, due to its flexibility and ease of incorporation.

Using EnterHow incorporation services to incorporate your business can save you both time and money with service that is fast, reliable, and affordable. Contact us now

Comparison of the most common legal entities in the UK



Companies limited by shares (“limited”)

Company limited by guarantee

Public limited company (“PLC”)

Limited liability partnership (“LLP”)

Minimum authorized capital




A PLC must have at least a quarter of the nominal value of each share paid up before it can start trading.



Minimum one shareholder

Does not have a share capital or any shareholders, but members (1 or more) who control it.

Public limited companies must have a minimum of two shareholders.

There must be at least two members, but there is no upper limit.

Company Secretary requirement






Legal entity

Legal entity

Legal entity

Legal entity


the members’ liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares allotted to them


The company does not have a share capital. The members’ liability is limited to the amount that they have agreed to contribute to the company’s assets if it is wound up (normally a nominal amount). This type of company is used principally for charitable organisations and clubs.

The members’ liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares held by them (“PLC”). Only the shares of a PLC can be offered for sale to the general public.

An LLP is a body corporate with legal personality separate from that of its members. It has unlimited capacity. The members of an LLP have limited liability.

Legal Address

All UK companies shall have physical location in United Kingdom where official documents can be served.

Management body

There are no residency or nationality requirements for directors of UK companies

Must have at least one director

A minimum of two Directors and two Shareholders are required and a suitably qualified Company Secretary must be appointed;


There are no statutory provisions for general meetings, directors, company secretary, share allotments, etc.

How to incorporate?


Establishment of new company (Limited) in UK can be described in the the following picture. The process might be more complicated depending on the type of activities (for example, for licensed or otherwise regulated activities).