GBSLEP

Legal Responsibilities For A Limited Company

Legal responsibilities

There are many legal responsibilities involved with being a director and running a limited company.

Types of company

Limited by shares

Most limited companies are ‘limited by shares’. This means that the shareholders’ responsibilities for the company’s financial liabilities are limited to the value of shares that they own but haven’t paid for.

Company directors aren’t personally responsible for debts the business can’t pay if it goes wrong, as long as they haven’t broken the law.

Example
A company limited by shares issues 100 shares valued at £1 each when it’s set up. Its 2 shareholders own 50 shares each and have both paid in full for 25 of these.

If the company goes bust, the maximum the shareholders have to pay towards its outstanding bills is £50 - the value of the remaining 25 shares that they’ve each not paid for.

Private company limited by guarantee

Directors or shareholders financially back the organisation up to a specific amount if things go wrong.

Public limited company

The company’s shares are traded publicly on a market, such as the London Stock Exchange.

You can also consider setting up a private unlimited company as an alternative legal structure. Directors or shareholders are liable for all debts if things go wrong.


Date last updated: 01/06/2015