Is There A Difference Between Limited and Ltd?

  • 3 min read

There is no difference between Limited and Ltd. in a company’s name. Both company endings mean that a company is limited by shares.

For example, you can call your company The Best Company in the World Ltd. or The Best Company in the World Limited.

Related Reading: Benefits of setting up a limited company

Should you use LTD, LTD., LIMITED, or LIMITED.?

As there is no legal difference this is entirely your preference.

You can register your company using the full word ‘Limited’ or the abbreviation ‘Ltd’ or Ltd. (with full stop). This is simply a presentation preference and dictates how your company name appears on the Companies House register and the certificate of incorporation.

Regardless of which option you choose at the time of incorporation, you will still be able to use either version on official stationery and literature.

For example-

Best Company nn the World LTD

Best Company nn the World LTD.

Best Company nn the World LIMITED

Do not worry too much about your choice. Most companies will choose the abbreviation LTD.

Remember, you can use either the full version or the abbreviation on your stationery after the company is registered.

It’s important to remember, however, that Companies House will always register and record names in capitals. You will never receive certificates of incorporation in lower case.

Can I Use Both LTD and Limited?

For documents submitted to Companies House, you must use the name that is shown on your incorporation certificate.

Therefore, if you incorporated as Limited you must show Limited on documents submitted to companies house and cannot use the abbreviation Ltd. In some cases, Companies House may reject any documents which use the wrong suffix (this may not have happened prior to CA2006)

For all documents other than Companies House documents, your limited company is free to use Ltd or Limited regardless of what was used on incorporation.

You can interchange between these at any time and use either version for stationery, websites, business cards etc.

You can also display your name in title case or capitals. Either version is legal and acceptable.

Exemption from using Limited in a company name

If you have registered a private company limited by guarantee, you can apply for exemption from the requirement to add ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ (or ‘Cyfyngedig’ or ‘Cyf’) from your company name. However, articles of association must state that:

  • the objects of the company are the promotion or regulation of commerce, art, science, education, religion, charity or any profession incidental or conducive to any of those objects
  • the company’s income must be applied to the promotion of its objects
  • the payment of dividends, or any return of capital, to company members is prohibited
  • all assets that would otherwise be available to company members generally are transferred on its winding up – either to another body with similar objects or to another body with charitable objects

To apply for exemption during the company formation process, you must indicate this by checking the relevant box on the application form.

What is a company limited by shares?

This is a type of private limited company that is formed under the laws of England & Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland. Private limited company’s shares may not be offered to the general public.

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