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Companies Act 2006

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Types of companyE+W+S+N.I.

3Limited and unlimited companiesE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A company is a “limited company” if the liability of its members is limited by its constitution.

It may be limited by shares or limited by guarantee.

(2)If their liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares held by them, the company is “limited by shares”.

(3)If their liability is limited to such amount as the members undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up, the company is “limited by guarantee”.

(4)If there is no limit on the liability of its members, the company is an “unlimited company”.

4Private and public companiesE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A “private company” is any company that is not a public company.

(2)A “public company” is a company limited by shares or limited by guarantee and having a share capital—

(a)whose certificate of incorporation states that it is a public company, and

(b)in relation to which the requirements of this Act, or the former Companies Acts, as to registration or re-registration as a public company have been complied with on or after the relevant date.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2)(b) the relevant date is—

(a)in relation to registration or re-registration in Great Britain, 22nd December 1980;

(b)in relation to registration or re-registration in Northern Ireland, 1st July 1983.

(4)For the two major differences between private and public companies, see Part 20.

5Companies limited by guarantee and having share capitalE+W+S+N.I.

(1)A company cannot be formed as, or become, a company limited by guarantee with a share capital.

(2)Provision to this effect has been in force—

(a)in Great Britain since 22nd December 1980, and

(b)in Northern Ireland since 1st July 1983.

(3)Any provision in the constitution of a company limited by guarantee that purports to divide the company's undertaking into shares or interests is a provision for a share capital.

This applies whether or not the nominal value or number of the shares or interests is specified by the provision.

6Community interest companiesE+W+S+N.I.

(1)In accordance with Part 2 of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 (c. 27)—

(a)a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital may be formed as or become a community interest company, and

(b)a company limited by guarantee and having a share capital may become a community interest company.

(2)The other provisions of the Companies Acts have effect subject to that Part.

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