A PLC has access to capital markets and can offer its shares for sale to the public through a recognised stock exchange. It can also issue advertisements offering any of its securities for sale to the public.
A Public Lmited Company is a company which is registered as such and complies with the following:
It must state that it is a public limited company both in its memorandum and in its name. The memorandum must contain a clause stating that it is a public limited company and the name must end with 'Public Limited Company' or 'PLC'
It must have an authorised share capital of at least £50,000.
Before it can start business, it must have allotted shares to the value of at least £50,000. A quarter of them, £12,500, must be paid up. Each allotted share must be paid up to at least one quarter of its nominal value together with the whole of any premium.
A PLC must have at least two shareholders and at least two company directors. The secretary (or each joint secretary) must also be a person who appears to the directors to have the necessary knowledge and ability to fulfil the functions and who:
(a) held the office of secretary or assistant or deputy secretary on 22 December 1980; or
(b) for at least three of the five years before their appointment, held the office of secretary of a non-private company; or
(c) is a barrister, advocate or solicitor called or admitted in any part of the United Kingdom; or
(d) is a person who, by virtue of his or her previous experience or membership of another body, appears to the directors to be capable of discharging the functions of secretary; or
(e) is a member of any of the following bodies:
- the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales;
- the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland;
- the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland;
- the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators;
- the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants;
- the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (formally known as the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants); or
- the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
A PLC normally has only seven months after the end of its accounting reference period to deliver its accounts to the Registrar. A civil penalty will be incurred if it delivers accounts to Companies House after the statutory time allowed for filing. Penalties are fully explained in our booklet, 'Late Filing Penalties'.
A PLC cannot take advantage of many of the provisions and exceptions applying to private companies under the Act, such as audit exemptions for small private companies.
A PLC cannot apply for voluntary strike-off under section 652A, Companies Act 1985. Further information about this is available in our booklet 'Strike-Off, Dissolution and Restoration'.
A PLC has access to capital markets and can offer its shares for sale to the public through a recognised stock exchange. It can also issue advertisements offering any of its securities for sale to the public. In contrast, a private company may not offer to the public any shares in itself.You do not have to be a UK national or resident to be an officer of a PLC.