Here’s a summary of the rules applicable to a company incorporated in England that is either newly incorporated or is to change its name to remove “limited”.

A private limited company (that usually must have “limited” at the end of its official corporate name) may apply for an exemption from that rule if it is:

  1. either a company limited by guarantee which satisfies the following conditions:
    • Its objects (which would be set out in its articles of association) are the promotion or regulation of commerce, art, science, education, religion, charity or any profession and anything incidental or conducive to those objects; and
    • Its articles of association further require:
      • its income to be applied in promoting its objects;
      • that dividends (or returns of capital) to its members are prohibited; and
      • if the company is wound up, all the assets are to be transferred to another body which has similar objects or which promotes a charity and anything incidental or conducive thereto.
  2. or a charity (which would be likely to meet the above conditions in any event).

A company that is incorporated as an unlimited company must not use the word "limited" in its name. As members of an unlimited company are ultimately liable for the company’s debts, it may be undesirable to have that type of company.