‘It is much more convenient not to be a public company. As a private company you don’t have to give information to the public…’
Marc Rich, Glencore plc
Unlike sole traders and partners in partnerships, companies are limited liabilities. This means that the owners can only lose the money put into the business, and nothing else.
In return for the benefits of limited liability a company must disclose information about its activities including its management and ownership structure, its directors and shareholdings. It must also file its financial statements (‘accounts’), although only the largest companies have to submit statutory accounts annually, disclosing extensive financial information about ...