What are the requirements for being a Public Limited Company?

The requirements for an entity to be considered a public limited company (PLC) include registration requirements, establishing directors and offering shares.

A Public Limited Company

A PLC is a form of publicly held company under U.K. law, the Republic of Ireland, and some Commonwealth jurisdictions. This is a limited liability company (LLC) with a minimum of £50,000 share capital and shares that may be sold and traded freely on an exchange. In the United States, equivalent companies are called publicly traded companies.

A PLC may be a listed or unlisted company on stock exchanges, and typically must have "public limited company" or the letters "PLC" as part of its legal name. However, some public limited companies are incorporated under special legislation and are exempted from carrying any identifying suffixes.

Other Requirements

PLCs that are incorporated in Wales, Scotland or England are required to register with Companies House, an agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. PLCs are also required to have a minimum of one director; most PLCs have at least two directors. The directors of a PLC can be generally anyone, but there are a few disqualifications, such as an individual who is subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order, or an individual who is over age 70 or under 16.

The members of a public limited company must also agree to purchase all or some of the company’s shares when it is registered. The company's memorandum of association must list all the names of the company members who have agreed to purchase these shares and the number of shares that each member will take. These individuals are known as subscribers, or classified as subscribed. The company must have allotted shares with a value of at least £50,000, with a quarter of them being fully paid up. The PLC, like publicly traded companies in the U.S., can have a variety of shares that it offers, all with different conditions and characteristics attached to them.

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