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Understanding ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’ in Company Names

In the world of business, you may have come across companies with ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ at the end of their names. These terms are not just mere suffixes but carry significant legal implications.

What Do ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’ Mean?

Both ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’ indicate that a company is a private limited company. In this structure, the liability of the company’s shareholders is limited to the capital they have invested. This means that if the company goes into liquidation, the personal assets of the shareholders are protected.

Is There a Difference Between ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’?

In terms of legal structure, there is no difference between ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’. ‘Limited’ is the full word, while ‘Ltd’ is an abbreviation. The choice between using ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ in a company’s name is purely a matter of personal preference or convention. Some companies choose to use ‘Limited’ for a more formal or traditional image, while others prefer ‘Ltd’ for brevity and simplicity.

Rules and Restrictions

When choosing a company name, there are certain rules and restrictions to bear in mind. The name cannot be too similar to an existing company name, it cannot be offensive or include certain restricted words, and it must indicate the legal structure of the company, such as ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’.

Special Cases

In certain circumstances, a company may be able to apply to Companies House to remove the ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ suffix. This is typically only in a limited number of scenarios, such as when the company is limited by guarantee (not shares) with certain distinct attributes, such as a ‘not for profit distribution’ clause in its Articles of Association.


Whether a company chooses to use ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ in its name, the implications are the same. It’s a declaration of limited liability, providing protection for shareholders and a clear indication of the company’s legal structure. As such, ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’ are more than just suffixes – they are integral parts of a company’s identity.

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