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LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
As the name suggests the limited liability company means “the company whose liability is limited”. In other words, Limited Liability Company means the company in which liability of the investors is limited to the extent of their investment. And no one in the company is liable to more than their actual investment. It is treated as one of the main advantages for setting up a limited liability company. This can provide a security feeling for the investors of the company as their liability is limited. That means the shareholders (person who has invested in the business) are only responsible for the debts of the business/company. As a result the owner/entrepreneur can keep his own assets and the finances separate from the business. In this sense, Limited Liability Company is deemed to be a separate legal entity distinct from its owners. And the life of the company has no relation with the life of its members. If the members may retire or die, the company will continue and exist.
TYPES OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
The liability of the company can be limited in different ways and manners. It can be limited by means of shares, guarantee etc. In UK, there are basically three types of limited companies, viz.,
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PRIVATE LIMITED COMPANY
- Private Limited Company limited by shares
- Private Limited Company limited by guarantee
- Public Limited Company.
Private limited company is one of the most popular forms of business organisation in UK. Incorporation of a private limited company in UK is very simple process. A private limited company can be set up with minimum of one shareholder; however he must be an individual. Similarly, minimum of one director is required for forming a Private limited company in UK. The director and shareholder of the company can be the same person. The minimum amount of share capital which is required for setting up a private limited company in UK is GBP 1. The registration process of Private Limited Company in UK is vested with the Companies House.
Requirements for setting up a Private Limited Company in UK
» Name for the company
The proposed Private Limited Company should have a name for the company. The name should neither identical nor too similar to an existing company. The name of the proposed company does not contain any words which is very sensitive, offensive and connection with government or any other local authorities.
» An address for its registered office
The limited company must have a registered office address. It is used for its official communication. The address provided must be in the same country where the company is registered in. Even home address can be used as registered address of the company.
» At least one shareholder (he must be an individual)
A private company limited by shares must have at least one shareholder. There is no limit for maximum number of shareholders. They are considered as the owners of the company.
» At least one director (director and shareholder can be same person)
At least one director is mandatory for the formation of a private limited company. A company can also be a director of another company. However, at least one of the directors must be a person. He must be 16 years of age or more and must not be disqualified from being a director. He is the person legally responsible for the activities of the company and to make ensure that books of accounts and reports of the company are properly done.
»Capital Statement of the company
At the time of registering a company, a statement of capital must be prepared. It includes share capital (number of shares and their nominal value) and list of subscribers (name and address of shareholders). The statement should also contain prescribed particulars. That means information about the shares like shareholder’s voting rights, rate of dividend, redemption of shares, etc.
» Memorandum of Association
Standard Memorandum of Association (MoA) is mandatory for incorporating any company. It is an agreement of all first subscribers (initial shareholders) of a company. The contents of MoA is agreed and signed by all the subscribers.
»Articles of Association
Articles of Association (AoA) is considered as another mandatory document for the formation of private limited company. It contains written rules and bye laws about running of the company. AoA contains each and every aspect related to the company like duties and responsibilities of directors and shareholders, decision making of shareholders, meetings, voting rights of shareholders, voting at general meeting etc.
The Private Limited Company in UK is again divided into two types on the basis of their liability. They are as follows:
(i) Private Limited Company limited by shares
- Private Limited Company limited by Shares
- Private Limited Company limited by Guarantee
Private Limited Company limited by shares means the liability of the shareholders of the company is limited to the amount of money they are invested in the business. That means personal assets and belongings of shareholders are protected at the time of company’s insolvency. They are not liable to any amount more than their value of shares.
(ii) Private Limited Company limited by guarantee
Another form of Private Limited company in UK is company limited by guarantee. The liability of the members of the company is limited to the amount they are guaranteed to the company. The company limited by guarantee does not have share capital; hence, there are no shareholders in the company. The persons who act as guarantors to the company are known as members. This type of company is commonly used for non profit organisation.
Registration of Private Limited Company
A person can register a Private Limited company in UK by different modes:
- By online if the company is limited by shares
- By post using Form IN01
- By using an agent
- By using third party software
Time required for registration
It takes normally 24 hours to register a Private Limited Company in UK through online application and postal application take 8 to 10 days for registration.
PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY
Another important form of business organisation in UK is Public Limited Company. It is also a limited liability company. One of the important advantages of Public limited company is its shares can be freely and easily sold traded to the public. Public Limited Company is usually end with word “PLC”.