There are over 6 million SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the UK which employ over 16 million  staff and contribute over 2 trillion pounds to the UK economy (FSB stats). These can be distinctly split into different types of company.

What are the main types of UK company formations?

  • Sole Trader
  • Private Limited Company (LTD)
  • Public Limited Company (PLC)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Guarantee Company (Not For Profit)
  • Limited Partnership (LC)

Company Formation Overview

Sole Trader
The simplest form of registered status with the least amount of filing, paperwork and associated secretarial duties. As the name suggests, only applicable to individuals working on their own.

Private Limited Company (LTD)
The most popular form of official company formation with over 2 million registered in the UK. The company registration is listed in it’s own right and in the eyes of the law separate from the person who owns it.

Public Limited Company (PLC)
A standard company but is listed as public and it’s shares can be owned and traded by the public. There must be a minimum of two directors listed and £50,000 in shares.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
In a similar way to a standard Limited company, an LLP gives some protection to it’s directors and often removes financial burden from them personally.

Guarantee Company (Not For Profit)
An organisation set up which is not for profit (for example a charity). Any profits are reinvested into the company and are often used for good.