What is the difference between ltd and pvt ltd?

There are lots of differences. The major factor is number of shareholders and shareholding pattern. In Pvt. Ltd. Company the share holders comprise of close group of friends and relatives. A Pvt. Ltd. company can not make an offer for public to subscribe its shares. Where as a Ltd. Company can given an advertisement and invite general public to subscribe for its shares. Basically a Pvt. Ltd. company is a corporate version of partnership firm where as a Public Ltd. company is a full fledged corporate body. For a Pvt. Ltd. company minimum 2 shareholders are required whereas for Public Ltd. Company minimum 50 shareholders are required. A share holder of a Public Ltd. company can transfer his shares freely at the stock exchange where the shares are listed whereas in a Pvt. Ltd. Company a shareholder can not transfer his shares without the consent of other shareholders. Also shares of the Pvt. Ltd. company can not be listed on stock exchanges and hence can not be traded there like shares of a Public Ltd. company. These are some of the major points of difference. For more details you need to refer The Indian Companies Act 1956