In a limited company, the liability of members or subscribers of the company is limited to what they have invested or guaranteed to the company. Limited companies may be limited by shares or by guarantee. The former may be further divided in public companies and private companies. Who may become a member of a private limited company is restricted by law and by the company’s rules. In contrast, anyone may buy shares in a public limited company.
Limited companies can be found in most countries, although the detailed rules governing them vary widely. It is also common for a distinction to be made between the publicly tradable companies of the plc type (for example, the German Aktiengesellschaft (AG), British PLC, Czech a.s., Italian S.p.A., Hungarian Nyrt. and the Spanish, French, Polish, Greek and Romanian S.A.), and the “private” types of company (such as the German GmbH, Portuguese Lda., British Ltd., Polish sp. z o.o., Russian ООО, the Czech s.r.o., the French s.a.r.l., the Italian s.r.l., Romanian s.r.l., Hungarian kft. and Slovak s.r.o. etc)