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Difference between a Public and Private Company

Public Companies are able to offer their shares for sale to the public and must have an authorised minimum share capital of £50,000, but in order to commence trading, at least one quarter of its nominal share value and the whole of any premium must be paid up. As soon as Companies House is satisfied that this criteria has been met an additional Certificate is issued allowing the Company to commence trading. Private Companies, on the other hand, are prohibited from offering their shares to the public, and the directors are normally empowered to decline to register any share transfers to persons of whom they do not approve. Private Companies need only have a single shareholder, and can commence trading immediately after incorporation.


The content and advice is for information only. Last updated 26.07.2009.

For up to date information and advice, based on your specific circumstances, please contact us.

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