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What is an off-the-shelf company?

An ‘off-the-shelf’ company or ready-made company is a pre-registered limited company, however, it has never been traded. An ‘off-the-shelf’ company is ready for immediate use and can be purchased after paying a certain cost for it. An ‘off-the-shelf’ company is usually registered through a ‘company formation agent’ and is later transferred to a customer. These companies can into existence when submissions for company registration were made to the Companies House in written or on paper and generally took a few weeks to get completed. Company formation agents keep a ready list of created ‘off-the-shelf’ companies for UK citizens’ to select from. When someone in the UK wants to start a business, they can select the company and it is rapidly transferred to newly registered owner or owners.

What is an off-the-shelf company?

In simple terms, an ‘off-the-shelf’ is defined as a company which has previously been listed by an accountant or a formation agent or lawyer, and which is all set for sale to an individual who is interested in setting up a new company. Generally, a company formation agents ‘off-the-shelf company' packages enables citizens in the UK to opt for a company that previously has a registration number and has the provision for changing the name of the company. The package may also include:

Prior to the Companies House developing an electronic incorporation, a typical incorporation would usual take more than a week to get complete. Continuing to maintain a stock of ‘off-the-shelf’ companies would mean that a formation agent could make available a company instantaneously when a client had vital need of one. Even though time for creating a company has decreased immensely, formation agents still continue to face an increased demand for ready-made companies. In case an individual requires to purchase a company immediately and does not have time to wait for Companies House to process an application, opting to purchase an ‘off-the-shelf’ is the most viable option available for UK citizens. Also, if the deadline is missed, then in such a scenario an aged company can be used to offer an historic incorporation date.

Buying a business or company

When an individual decides to buy a company, there are three dissimilar options accessible:

  • Purchasing an ‘off-the shelf’ company or a ready-made
  • Setting up a new company
  • Purchasing a company with the sight of attaining its trade

Ready Made Company

An ‘off-the-shelf’ company or ready-made company already exists and is available for a buyer to purchase. Citizens, in the UK, prefer to buy a limited business entity in order to start a brand new company, i.e., a company which doesn’t exist till the time the citizens opt to register it themselves. The benefits of a ready-made company or an ‘off-the-shelf’ company can upsurge their demand for some individuals, depending on their personal aims. Additionally, there are also various categories of an ‘off-the-shelf’ company which aid explicit and unpredictable commercial needs.

Purchasing a ready-made company is usually more costly than registration of a new entity. Off-the-shelf or ready-made companies do experience a ‘holding cost’. Also, it must be noted that ready-made companies or ‘off-the-shelf’ companies can have certain drawbacks attached to them. Disadvantages vary and are specific to an individual off-the-shelf company being evaluated for purchase.

What are ready made company benefits?

What are ready made company benefits?

Ready Made companies or off-the-shelf companies don’t have any benefits as compared to the new limited company formations, if not there are solid commercial whys and wherefores for doing so. These companies were formed by formation agents to avoid wastage of time and evade processing delays at Companies House. However, as now online company formation applications are entertained within an average of 3 hours, the request for ‘off-the-shelf’ companies or ready-made companies has considerably decreased. Now, ‘off-the-self’ companies are only of attention if there is a requirement for a lengthier trading history.

What is the time duration to purchase ownership a shelf company?

As a norms, ‘off-the-shelf’ companies or ‘ready-made’ companies for sale are further expensive. The cost of these companies encompass all the charges paid to sustain the aged shelf company in perfect standing up-to-date. The change of name in case of a limited company must also be accepted by the Directors and will be established by a ‘Name Changed’ Resolution. The processes of making alterations to an ‘off-the-shelf’ company must only add time and cost to company formation. A process of changing the name of an ‘off-the-shelf’ company usually takes 2 working days. Unless an individual has precise reasons, Limited Companies ‘off-the-shelf’ do not usually add any cost in terms of money and time. Also, companies off the shelf are not value added tax (VAT) registered nor will they have a bank account and cannot be initially registered for VAT.

The process of forming an ‘off-the-shelf’ company is no different than that of any new standard business incorporation. It is imperative to evaluate the cost of purchasing an ‘off-the-shelf’ company considering registering a new one today. Due to ease of registration (with new online registration channels) the demand for shelf companies has decreased. The process of creating a ready-made limited company or limited liability partnership (LLPs) is no dissimilar from that of any other usual business incorporation.

List of available ‘off-the-shelf’ company names

Incorporated date Name of the company
13-Jan-12 MEXTRON SYSTEMS LIMITED
17-Apr-12 NOVAMORE IT LIMITED
5-Dec-12 COURTMEX LIMITED
5-Dec-12 DATESTAR LIMITED
5-Dec-12 DEXSTONE LIMITED
5-Dec-12 ELECREST LIMITED
5-Dec-12 FIELDFORM LIMITED
12-Dec-12 GOLDEX SOLUTIONS LIMITED
12-Dec-12 SENTOR SOLUTIONS LIMITED
12-Apr-13 EXMOOR SOLUTIONS LIMITED
12-Apr-13 GRANGEWELL IT LIMITED
12-Apr-13 TEXMOORE LIMITED
7-May-13 NEWBOND SYSTEMS LIMITED
31-May-13 NEWBELL RESTAURANT LIMITED
14-Nov-13 TELCROFT TRADING LIMITED
25-Nov-13 YEWBAY LIMITED
26-Nov-13 OVERTEL LIMITED
26-Nov-13 PRESTMALL LIMITED
26-Nov-13 ROZEY RESTAURANT LIMITED
26-Nov-13 SEMMAR LIMITED
4-Dec-13 NETCASTLE LIMITED
11-Dec-13 HILLTOP RESTAURANT LIMITED
12-Dec-13 MIXER RESTAURANT LIMITED
11-Feb-14 AQBELL SYSTEMS LIMITED
11-Feb-14 BEXEFARM ESTATES LIMITED
11-Feb-14 CINTRON ENGINEERING LIMITED
11-Feb-14 EPROFIT I.T. LIMITED
12-Feb-14 CELLMAX BUSINESS DESIGNS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 CIPRON SYSTEMS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 CONPONENT LIMITED
12-Feb-14 CYPLAN I.T. LIMITED
12-Feb-14 DECRETECH LIMITED
12-Feb-14 FABCOURT DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 GEEKBOY I.T. LIMITED
12-Feb-14 GYROMAN LIMITED
12-Feb-14 HOTSOUND LIMITED
12-Feb-14 JAXDENE SOLUTIONS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 JUICY CREATIVES LIMITED
12-Feb-14 JUICY STRUCTURES LIMITED
12-Feb-14 KIZMAN DESIGNS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 LOZBOROUGH ASSOCIATES LIMITED
12-Feb-14 MACHOMAN PRODUCTS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 MEXIUM SYSTEMS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 PAXBRIDGE ENTERPRISES LIMITED
12-Feb-14 PLAXWAY LIMITED
12-Feb-14 RESTRUCTOR SYSTEMS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 SAXDENE LIMITED
12-Feb-14 SAXLOGO DESIGNS LIMITED
12-Feb-14 SONVILLE PRODUCTS LIMITED
8-Nov-17 FOXY DESIGN LIMITED
5-Feb-18 BESTPRACTICE COMMERCE LIMITED
5-Feb-18 CANCAN DESIGNS LIMITED
5-Feb-18 FITBOD LEISURE LIMITED
21-Feb-18 ESCAPE ENGINEERING LIMITED
21-Feb-18 FALLOUT AGENCY LIMITED
21-Feb-18 MALEDICT MANAGEMENT LIMITED
21-Feb-18 TITUS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
11-Mar-18 ABBACUS ENGINEERING LIMITED
11-Mar-18 CENTURIAN COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED
11-Mar-18 MANEX COMMERCE LIMITED
11-Mar-18 TESTAMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED
29-Mar-18 QUARTERDECK ENTERPRISES LIMITED
3-Apr-18 BIGDATA COMPUTING LIMITED
3-Apr-18 BULLDOG BUILDERS LIMITED
3-Apr-18 HOLDFAST CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
3-Apr-18 I.T. SPARK LIMITED
3-Apr-18 KEYSTONE TRADE LIMITED

Like pre-existence being an advantage of ready-made companies, its major disadvantage can be the uncertainty surrounding its past. When a UK limited company’s ownership is moved from one owner to another, there is a change in the shareholders of the company. By acquiring an entity, shareholders also take over an organisations available assets comprising of bank accounts, fixed assets, cash along with value added tax (VAT) and pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) registration.

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