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A Guide to Public Limited Companies

@UKPLC Company Registrations explains the different rules that apply to PLCs and the potential benefits of forming one

Those wishing to start a prestigious company, with greater access to capital and the ability to advertise and sell their shares to the public may find forming a Public Limited Company (PLC) more appropriate than a Private Limited Company.

Registering a PLC allows you to sell shares to the public via a Stock Exchange. It has all the benefits of forming private limited company with the benefit of extra financial status. However, selling your shares to the public is not mandatory, and some PLCs are privately owned and maintain the PLC designation for the extra financial status.

The main benefits of forming a PLC are:

  • The ability to raise capital via selling shares
  • Banks and other financial institutions may be more willing to lend money to a PLC, particularly one listed on the Stock Exchange
  • PLCs often have better expansion and growth opportunities
  • The stricter regulations PLCs must follow can often lead to increased credibility and confidence

However, there are different rules for public companies; compulsory elements include:

  • A minimum of two directors
  • A minimum of two shareholders
  • A qualified company secretary
  • Shorter filing period for accounts after the end of the financial year
  • Must hold an AGM

PLCs generally require a lot more administration. When forming your company, you will need to issue at least two shares and then file an SH01 form to issue up to 12,500 shares. An SH50 form needs to be completed and submitted to Companies House to obtain a Certificate of Trading before any trading can commence – this needs to prove that at least 25% of £50,000 worth of shares have been paid up.

Alongside the increased admin requirements, PLCs can be more vulnerable to takeovers and the initial financial commitment is much higher than that required for a private limited company.

@UKPLC Company Registrations recommends speaking to your accountant before forming a PLC, to make sure it is the right fit for your business.

Our Limited Company Formation packages are also suitable for PLC formations, learn more here.

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