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Get Started in Shares by Glen Arnold

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Public, private and listed

Private companies, with the suffix ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’, are the most common form of company (over 95% of all UK companies). The less numerous, but more influential, form of company is a public limited company (or just public companies). These firms must display the suffix ‘plc’. The private company has no minimum amount of share capital and there are restrictions on the type of purchaser who can be offered shares in the enterprise, whereas the plc has to have a minimum share capital of £50,000 but is able to offer shares to a wide range of potential investors.

Not all public companies are quoted on a stock market; in fact, most are not. This can be particularly confusing when the press talks about a firm ‘going public’ ...

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