Who owns the company?
A company is owned by 'the members', usually shareholders.
There is no maximum amount of shareholders in a private limited
company. As long as the shares have not been offered to the
It is possible for a company to have just one member, and for
that member to have only one share.
Is there a minimum amount of capital required to form the
There is no statutory minimum or maximum capital for a private
limited company, (although a public limited company has to meet
certain capital requirements).
How much is there to lose?
A company may have limited liability for its members. The
effect of this is that, if a company is unable to pay its debts
and is put into liquidation, the members will not be required
to contribute more more than they have actually paid, or agreed
to pay, towards settling its debts.
A private company can be limited by shares or by guarantee,
(which is a commitment to contribute a given sum if the company
is wound up). E.g Your bank may ask for a directors' personal
guarantee on a company's loan.
Who can own shares?
Directors and secretaries are not generally required to own
share's in the companies that they manage, but there is nothing
to prevent them from doing so, and they often do.
A limited company is a legal person in its own right and can
own shares in another company.
A private limited company cannot offer to sell its shares to
the public (but a public limited company, or PLC / CCC*, can.)
* Cwmni Cyfyngedig Cyhoeddus (If it's registered
office has to be in Wales),
Show me the money!
Corporation tax is paid on profits. Dividends are declared
by the board of directors and paid to the shareholders, but
profits may be kept in the business.
Companies House produce a number of publications which may
Companies Registration Office
CF4 3UZ Tel: (029) 2038 8588