What Does the Abbreviation “Ltd.” Mean in a Company Name?

Elliott Brown/CC-BY-2.0

“Ltd.” is an abbreviation for “limited.” When used after a business name, it indicates that the owners and shareholders of the business only have limited responsibility for the company’s debts and obligations.

A company cannot simply place “Ltd.” after its name for legal protection. In the United States, each state has its own legal requirements for owners to maintain a limited legal liability status. Some states also allow corporations to use “ltd.” in the place of “inc.”

In some other countries, this abbreviation indicates the business owner is only financially responsible for the amount of money that he or she has personally invested into the business.