Public Limited Company

The main advantage of PLC is that a PLC has access to capital markets and can offer its shares for sale to the public through a recognised stock exchange. It can also issue advertisements offering any of its securities for sale to the public. In contrast, a private company may not offer to the public any shares in itself.

A public limited company is a company which is registered as such and complies with the following:

  • It must state that it is a public limited company both in its memorandum and in its name. The memorandum must contain a clause stating that it is a public limited company and the name must end with 'Public Limited Company' or 'PLC'.

  • For public limited companies that are also community interest companies (CICs) the name must end with 'community interest public limited company' or 'community interest p.l.c.'

  • The memorandum must be in the form specified in Table F of the Tables or as near to that form as circumstances permit.

  • It must have an authorised share capital of at least £50,000.

  • Before it can start business, it must have allotted shares to the value of at least £50,000. A quarter of them, £12,500, must be paid up. Each allotted share must be paid up to at least one quarter of its nominal value together with the whole of any premium.

    Once 25% of the authorised and issued capital (£12,500 as shown above) is fully paid up, the Registrar of Companies can issue a Certificate for Commencement of Trading.
    This Certificate must be issued before the company commences any business transactions. Members' liability is limited to the amount unpaid on shares held by them.

There are four main restrictions:

1. A PLC must have at least two members and at least two company directors. The secretary (or each joint secretary) must also be a person who appears to the directors to have the necessary knowledge and ability to fulfil the functions and who:

(a) held the office of secretary or assistant or deputy secretary on 22 December 1980; or

(b) for at least three of the five years before their appointment, held the office of secretary of a non-private company; or

(c) is a barrister, advocate or solicitor called or admitted in any part of the United Kingdom; or

(d) is a person who, by virtue of his or her previous experience or membership of another body, appears to the directors to be capable of discharging the functions of secretary; or

(e) is a member of any of the following bodies: the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland; the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators; the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants; the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (formally known as the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants) or the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

2. A PLC normally has only seven months after the end of its accounting reference period to deliver its accounts to the Registrar. A civil penalty will be incurred if it delivers accounts to Companies House after the statutory time allowed for filing.

3. A PLC cannot take advantage of many of the provisions and exceptions applying to private companies under the Act, such as audit exemptions for small private companies.

4. A PLC cannot apply for voluntary strike-off under section 652A, Companies Act 1985.

The process to incorporate a PLC is made really simple by Omega Group. You only need to choose an acceptable name and give us a few details in order for us to proceed with incorporation.

Please call or e-mail for further information