Shelf Companies

Shelf Companies

We have never formed companies to offer as shelf companies (some use the wording ‘shell companies’ ) and will not do so. All too often such companies are used for illegal purposes and we have no intention of helping criminals. When selling shelf companies there is no control at all over who will be the end user and what they will use the company for. We need to know at all times just who we are dealing with, and their home address, as a minimum.

Many people believe that there is a time saving to set up a company if they buy a company that is already formed. This is simply not accurate. Often it will take more time to make the necessary changes to make a ‘shelf company’ usable. For example, the business classification will need to be changed to conform with the trading intentions of the purchaser. It will usually cost quite a bit more to buy than it costs to set up a new company. The identity of the beneficial ownership has to be declared or an offence is very likely to have been made already. All the information is normally available on-line at the Companies House website.

If you are buying a shelf company in the belief that a pre formed company can house agreements that are already made we suggest that you think again. In a Companies First Minutes it is not unusual to ratify the actions of an agent (or other individual) who has been acting ‘on behalf of a company yet to be formed’.

Should you believe that an older company looks more credible than a brand new company I suggest that you think again. Remember that the history of a shelf company is available for the public to view on the companies office website – no doubt showing as dormant for a shelf company. A dormant company has no reputation at all!