Private company limited by shares
A private company limited by shares is a class of private limited company incorporated under the laws of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, certain Commonwealth countries, and the Republic of Ireland. It has shareholders with limited liability and its shares may not be offered to the general public, unlike those of a public limited company.
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"Limited by shares" means that the liability of the shareholders to creditors of the company is limited to the capital originally invested, i.e. the nominal value of the shares and any premium paid in return for the issue of the shares by the company. A shareholder's personal assets are thus protected in the event of the company's insolvency, but any money invested in the company may be lost.
A limited company may be "private" or "public". A private limited company's disclosure requirements are lighter, but its shares may not be offered to the general public and therefore cannot be traded on a public stock exchange. This is the major difference between a private limited company and a public limited company. Most companies, particularly small companies, are private.