The Difference Between Private And Public Limited Companies

A limited company has a number of advantages for anyone who would prefer to run a business of their own rather than forming partnerships or being a sole trader. Limited companies offer the primary advantage that the owner or shareholders’ liability is limited, with the result that all personal assets have protection.

Limited companies come in four types – private companies limited by shares, private companies limited by guarantees, private unlimited companies and public limited companies.

Share Capital

Although public and private limited companies are both owned by shareholders, in the case of public limited companies, £50,000 is the minimum share capital required. In the case of private limited companies, there is no minimum share capital.


Public limited companies must display the letters PLC after their name while private limited companies do not. Private limited companies require only a single shareholder who can also be the company’s director, however they are number to publicly sell shares unlike public limited companies who can sell shares publicly if they wish. Public limited companies must also have a minimum of two directors.

Submitting Accounts

Public limited companies must submit their accounts within a 6 month period after the company’s accounting year end. Private limited companies are allowed to submit their accounts up to 9 months following the end of their accounting year.


Once private limited companies are incorporated they can begin to trade, however public limited companies must wait to receive their trading certificate first.


Private limited companies do not need to hold regular meetings or AGMs, however public limited companies do.

Qualified Secretaries

Public limited companies must have a qualified company secretary while private limited companies are not required to have a company secretary at all, and there is no need for one to be qualified.

If you need help with your company incorporation and tax compliance please contact The Accountancy Solutions on 01216297768 or 02070784001 for further advice.