How to Set Up a Public Limited Company

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A public limited company (PLC) is a form of business organization in the United Kingdom that restricts the liability of company owners (shareholders) to the amounts that they have invested, with no possibility of personal liability for business debts in the event of credit default or foreclosure. Setting up a limited public company is not a complicated process and can be performed relatively inexpensively.

  • Choose a name for your public limited company. Company names cannot be offensive or misleading, and must be unique.

  • Designate directors and a secretary. According to businesslink.gov.uk, a public limited company must have at least two directors and one qualified company secretary.

  • File a Memorandum of Association with Companies House. Include the names and signatures of each principal shareholder. All required forms can be located and submitted online.

  • File your Articles of Association with Companies House. Include the operational portion of your business plan, as well as documentation of shareholders' rights and the powers granted to your directors.

  • File Form 10 and Form 12 with Companies House. Use Form 10 to list the names and addresses of your directors, and the addresses of all company premises. Form 12 is simply a statement of compliance with the Companies Act.

  • Contact your local HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office to notify them of your company's incorporation. You will be required to file various tax forms with the HMRC after your operations begin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seek advice from an accountant or solicitor. Accountants specializing in business start-ups can handle the entire process of incorporating your public limited company, and it is advisable to use a trusted accountant for valuable advice even if you plan to do the work yourself.

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