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Ready made companies

The term"ready made company" (or "shelf company") is now virtually obsolete. It used to denote a company registered by a solicitor or company registration agent to bekept in stock for sale and transfer to a client in due course. When we started in business in 1978, three-quarters of all new companies were set up as ready made companies. The main reason was that having a company registered from scratch took at least four weeks, and often considerably longer. The ready made company, already registered and available immediately, was a very convenient way of getting a new business set up within a reasonable time. With electronic registration, which usually ensures that a new company is set up in a few hours, the ready made company has become obsolete, and an expensive and cumbersome way of putting a new company in place. The name, the directors, shareholders, registered office, authorised share capital might all need to be changed.

Since 1st. October 2008 it has become impossible to register a company without an individual as a director. This has really brought the ready made company to an end. The practice has been for ready made companies to be set up only with corporate directors, so that no individual involved with its initial formation is exposed to any possible liability for what a future owner of the company might do in its name. For this reason, and the fact that the practice had become obsolete anyway, we have stopped stocking ready made companies.