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The Public Company Limited by Shares

General Information

The principal advantage of a Plc. is that shares may be transferred with relative ease and can be listed on a stock exchange. It is therefore usually chosen by larger businesses.


Formation by at least two persons - individuals or legal entities; nationality irrelevant.
Incorporation requires memorandum of association followed by entry in companies register. Company comes into existence immediately upon registration.

Duration of incorporation approximately 5 days; same-day service.

Incorporation costs of £ 20 (approximately € 30; fixed registration fee) or £ 50 (approximately € 75; for same-day service).

Capitalisation and Financing

The statutory minimum share capital, of which at least one-quarter must be paid up, amounts to £ 50,000 (approximately € 75,000). Shares can be paid in cash or kind. Non-cash considerations must, however, be independently valued to ensure their adequacy.

Board Structure

The Plc. is managed and represented by its board of directors in and out of court. The board must consist of at least two members. The manner of management and representation has to be decided upon in the articles of association.

Shareholders' decisions are made by way of shareholders' resolutions at the annual or extraordinary general meeting.

Company has to appoint a company secretary, inter alia responsible for a proper keeping of the books.

Annual Costs

At least £ 30 (approximately € 45; registration fee).

Corporate Taxation and Financial Reporting

Under the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 all companies resident in U.K. are liable for corporation tax on all income and on all capital gains. Tax rates range from 19 % for companies with profits below £ 300,000 to 30 % for companies with profits over £ 1,500,000.
Reporting requirements depend on company size. Generally, annual accounts, consisting of a balance sheet, profit and loss account, directors' and auditors' report, must be approved by the shareholders' meeting and filed with the Registrar of Companies within the statutory limits. Generally, accounting may be done according to U.K. GAAP. If company's securities are listed on an EU regulated market stock, however, international accounting standards (IFRS) apply.

Employee Participation in Corporate Bodies