We are often asked to explain the difference between ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’ at the end of a company name. There is absolutely no difference, other than the fact that one is a complete word and the other is a shortened form. It’s entirely up to you whether to use Limited or Ltd.
Using Limited or Ltd at the end of a company name
One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether to choose ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ for the end of your company name. However, your choice will only affect the way your company name is displayed on your incorporation documents.
During the life of your company, you can use whatever format you like. You can also interchange between them, displaying different formats on your website, letterheads, and business cards as you so please.
LIMITED, LTD, Limited or Ltd are one and the same. You are free to use any version. It should be noted, however, that Companies House always registers and records names in capitals and never produces certificates of incorporation in lower case.
Rules for Welsh companies
If your company is registered in Wales and has a registered office situated in Wales (a “Welsh” company), you can instead use ‘Cyfyngedig’ or ‘Cyf’ at the end of your company name.
Exemption from using Limited in a company name
If you register 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 if your articles of association 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.