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A shelf company is a legally established company which a law office in the jurisdiction involved has already set up at an earlier date, but which has neither carried out any activity, nor opened a bank account.

Such a company is set up with the non-concealed intention that at some point somebody will buy and operate it. The legislation of a number of tax haven locations allows for the foundation of companies of this nature.

The only drawback of a shelf company is that it is not possible to select a name in advance (it can only be modified subsequently) since companies of this kind were registered under the names made up by the founder.

The deeds (documents) of foundation do not usually differ from those of a newly set up company, and the fee of establishment is usually the same, too.
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