A public limited company is a company that offers shares in their business for members of the public to buy. This is something that is usually done when a company has grown in size and the “owners” want to “cash in” on their success. To “cash in” on their success they first have to share capital of £50,000, at least two shareholders, two directors and a qualified company secretary. There are of course advantages and disadvantages in becoming a public limited company. Some of the advantages are that it is good for your reputation, it shows that your company is established. It makes it easier to acquire other businesses, you can use shares in your existing company to trade, as well as cash. Another advantage is that you can motivate your employees by issuing them shares in the company. There are also disadvantages to having a public limited company. By selling your shares it runs the risk that your company could be taken over by shareholders leaving you with no control over your business. Another disadvantage of a public limited company is that shareholders have a say in the way your run your business and you also have to issue your public accounts.
An example of a public limited company is British Airways. This means that British airways has sold shares in their business to members of the public and can then get money back from selling their shares. This happened in 1980 when the government put British Airways on the stock market to try restoring the