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Types of Companies in UK

Updated on Monday 14th May 2018

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UK, composed of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as Britain is one of the most economically developed states. It has a powerful economy, a dynamic development and offers great incentives to foreign investors. In fact, it is one of the most invested on states on the planet. UK has a number of company types that suit every need. The most common form is the private limited liability company, usually referred to as limited company. Other company forms are used in UK for different activities.

Our company registration agents can help you open a company in the UK.

Open a Private Limited Liability Company in the United Kingdom

The private limited company is widely used in the United Kingdom. It may be established by one or more persons and must have at least one director and at least one shareholder. Also it is mandatory that the company name a secretary who undertakes the administrative procedures of the business. Shareholders are liable only to the extent of their shares and contributions to the company. The shares cannot be offered to the public and the private limited company may not be listed on the stock exchange. The profits of the private limited liability company are distributed to shareholders and are called dividends.

Create a Public Limited Liability Company in the United Kingdom

The UK public limited liability company must have at leas two directors, two shareholders and at least one director must be an individual. Also a qualified company secretary is required to undertake the administrative procedures of the company. As in a private limited company, shareholders are liable to the company's debts and obligations only to the extent of the value of their shares. Profits are also distributed to shareholders as dividends. A British public limited liability companycan offer its shares to the public and can raise finance enlisting on a stock exchange.

Open a Company Limited by Guarantee in the United Kingdom

This company type doesn't have share capital. The company members act as guarantors and oblige themselves to contribute with a nominal sum, in case the company suffers losses. The company is a legal entity which exists on its own right and is not owned by its members. This company type is commonly used for non profit organizations and can appoint directors, who act mostly as guides. Even though it does not precisely have economic activities, it must register with the Companies House.

Create an Unlimited Company in the UK

This is a less used company form. The members of an unlimited company are fully liable for the debts and obligations of the company, however the company generally doesn't gave to file its annual accounts to the Companies House. This entity is a good alternative for companies which need to have financial secrecy. The incorporation procedures are the same as for United Kingdom limited companies.

Form UK Partnerships

In UK a partnership is formed by two or more people who share the management and profits of the company. The partners have no financial protection. A partnership may have dormant partners who invest in the business for a return that is previously agreed upon. If a partner retires, the partnership must be dissolved. If the profits of the partnership exceed GBP 68.000 yearly, the company must register for VAT. Partnerships are not registered with the Companies House.

Open a Limited Partnership in the United Kingdom

The UK limited partnership is founded by at least two persons and has one or more general partners, and at least one limited partner. The general partner has the right to manage the company, instead dealing with the debts and obligations of the company to the extent of his personal assets, while the limited partner is liable only to the extent of his or her contribution. The partners, general or limited, may be companies or individuals who do not have to register the partnership to the Companies House.

Limited Liability Partnership in the United Kingdom

This company type is similar to the ordinary partnership, except the partners have limited liability to the amount invested in the company. It is a business form suitable for professional firms such as law firms. A limited liability partnership must register with the Companies House and have to file annual reports.

Please contact us for company formation in the UK.


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