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Public Limited Company (PLC)

A Public Limited Company (PLC) is a company with limited liability and it can offer its shares to the public through a listed Stock Exchange, although it is not a must and it can remain privately owned. Having PLC at the end of company’s name usually gives it a greater prestige, trust and respect.

Key requirements for registration of a PLC

  • It must have at least 2 shareholders
  • It must have at least 2 directors
  • At least one director must be an individual of age 16 and older
  • It must be registered with Companies House
  • Minimum value of shares issued £50,000
  • At least 25% of the value of shares must be paid before the Registrar of Companies can issue a Certificate for Commencement of Trading
  • It must have a qualified Company Secretary
  • It must have unique name

The owners are protected by ‘limited liability’, which means they are only responsible for business debts up to the value of shares that they own. Owners appoint company’s directors that will manage the business and it is common in PLCs that directors are also shareholders.

The accounts of PLC must be audited and submitted to Companies House to be publicly available within 6 months of the end of financial year. Annual return states current registration details of the PLC and it must be sent to Companies House.

Regular and annual requirements

The company secretary is responsible for maintaining regular and annual statutory requirements, such as keeping minutes of annual meetings, registering of shareholders and directors and notifying Companies House of any changes in PLC ownership, directors or change of address, issuing share certificates. Book-keeping and accounts must be up to date as well as statutory books.


PLCs are liable for corporation tax on any taxable income or profits. Profits can be distributed to shareholders as dividends on which shareholders pay tax, but the Company does not need to pay National Insurance. Company directors are usually employees paying tax through PAYE.

Key requirements after registration

  • Statutory books need to be kept up to date
  • Must register for PAYE
  • Must register for VAT unless the turnover will be lower than threshold
  • The PLC name, registration number and registered address must be printed on all stationary and VAT registration number on all invoices and statements
  • Companies House need to be informed of the accounting date (the end of company’s first financial year)
  • The company secretary must issue share certificates and record them in the Shareholders Register

Ready-made and Tailor-made PLCs

The advantage of a Ready-made PLC is simplicity. They are registered with a fixed Share Capital (usually £50,000) and a general Objects Clause, and can trade pretty soon after the purchase.

The disadvantage of Ready-mades is that their Objects Clause may not reflect all your requirements.

Tailor-made PLCs are produced entirely to the client’s requirements, normally taking just 24 hours to Register. The advantage is having the Name you want from the start (if available) and Objects which are specific to your Company.

Imperial & Legal offers a range of packages for incorporation of a company in the UK. Based on your requirements and circumstances we would be able to offer you the right package, either a standard or tailor-made, with a company registered within a day and Articles drafted especially for you.

To discuss your requirements, please contact our specialists or call us on +44 (0)203 490 41 21.

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