Shelf Corporation

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you are considering acquiring a shelf corporation, or a business that has been specifically shelved to age for some time before ...

If you are considering acquiring a shelf corporation, or a business that has been specifically shelved to age for some time before being sold, then this guide will help you with your shelf corporation research and suggest how you can find aged shelf companies. If you are thinking about starting, or already own, a shelf corporation business that creates aged corporations so they can later be sold to interested buyers, you will also find this guide to be useful.

Although a shelf corporation does not directly engage in any business activities, it can be an appealing option for someone who wants to obtain a business, and can offer the following advantages to the owner:

  1. Saves on time that is normally required to create a new corporation.
  2. Provides the ability to bid on contracts with government agencies when it is required that the company has been in business for a certain length of time.
  3. Creates the appearance that the corporation has been around for awhile.
  4. Enables the shelf corp. owner to gain access to investment capital.
  5. Makes it easier for the company to obtain business credit.
  6. Provides a level of protection for real estate, cash and other assets from possible future lawsuits.
A vendor of an aged shelf company that offers to put your company's name on past tax returns is being dishonest. Also, transferring assets to obscure ownership, and obtaining "friendly liens" after a lawsuit is filed or threatened, probably violates the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and federal Bankruptcy Code. Nonetheless, it is easy to find legitimate aged shelf companies that will help you further your business goals. For example, you can obtain shelf corporation credit easily by purchasing an aged shelf company that already has an existing line of credit.

Contact companies that offer a full range of services in addition to having aged shelf corporations

There are a number of vendors of shelf corporations that provide other services such as setting up limited liability companies or helping a business to incorporate.

Consider forming a shelf corporation on your own

In the United States it is relatively easy to simply file the papers that incorporate a firm or there are a variety of do-it-yourself books that can be of help.
Shelf Corp Development Kit: Build Your Own Aged Shelf Corp Credit. Nolo.com has a book titled Incorporate Your Business: A Legal Guide to Forming a Corporation in Your State. Laughlin Associates specializes in corporations in Nevada, which is second behind Delaware in the number of corporate filings.

Get information about offshore shelf companies

Offshore shelf companies should not be confused with offshore shell companies because the latter are generally set up for black market purposes.
(Caribbean Citizenship Program) is located in Dominica, West Indies, and has offshore shelf companies available for sale. Maritime International Ltd. an offshore service provider with headquarters in Antigua, also offers aged shelf corporations for sale.

Contact companies that specialize in discount shelf corporation businesses and auctions

There are a number of smaller companies that do not offer a full range of services but may still have good deals on shelf corporations.

  • The Las Vegas Sun (June 2, 2008) reports that Richard M. Krawczyk, a business credit expert who owns 30 Nevada shelf corporations, discovered a three-year old shelf corp. was missing. (In 2006, Nevada was one of three states a congressional subcommittee criticized for lax corporate filing practices, arguing Nevada could be a haven for money laundering because it's easy for a corporation to hide its principals.) He called the secretary of state and was informed that his company had been renamed and had a new president. Krawczyk contacted the new president who said he bought the shelf company for $10,000 from a California company called Corporate Credit Association of America, Inc. The company claims it got it from another company and is fighting Krawczyk's lawsuit.

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