A corporation is a business entity that exits with previleges and liabilities that are seperate from those of its members (owners). Corporations are limited liability companies by shares and can be further devided in two groups:

  • private (limited) companies, also known as ‘Ltd’. The law and the company’s rules limit who can become a member (shareholder) of a private limited company. Its disclose requirements are also lighter. Ltd are roughly equivalent to ‘Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH)’ in Germany and ‘Société À Responsabilité Limitée (SARL)’ in France.
  • public (limited) companies, also called plc. A plc can sell share to the general public, and might be listed on a stock exchange (or not). Plcs are roughly equivalent to ‘Aktiengesellschaft (AGs)’ in Germany, and to ‘Société Anonyme (SA)’ in France.
In the UK, Limited companies have a minimum capital requirement of 1 British Pound only. In Germany, the minimum capital requirement for GmbH is 25000 Euros, but only 12500 Euro has to be paid in on the company account, and the owners are liable for the rest in case of insolvency.