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What Are the Benefits of a Shelf Corporation?

A shelf corporation, also called a shelf company or an aged corporation, is a pre-filed, existing corporation that has never been used for business. The shelf corporation is registered and made fully operational, and then is set aside to "age." Shelf corporations become more expensive the longer they are withheld from sale.

If you purchase a shelf corporation, you are buying a company that is immediately available for use. The shelf corporation has a date of incorporation, Tax ID number, record book, articles of incorporation, corporate seal, stock certificates, blank meeting minutes and a registered agent.

Any shelf corporation can be quickly renamed for a small fee. Hence, you can buy a shelf corporation and begin doing business immediately. That streamlined expediency is one practical reason for buying a shelf corporation. All of the other reasons for buying a shelf company can be categorized as strategic:

Buying an aged corporation creates an immediate history for your company. This years-in-business history can satisfy many requirements:

  • Improves corporate image by implying longevity.


  • Satisfies requirements for credit card companies, which often stipulate that a company
  • must be in business for at least six months.

  • Satisfies banks and credit unions, which may stipulate that a company must be in
  • business for at least a number of years to apply for credit or loans.

  • Satisfies contract bidding requirements that may stipulate all bidders must be in
  • business for at least a specific number of years.

    The age range for shelf corporations runs from just a few months in existence to over 10 years, with an escalating purchase-price curve. You can purchase a shelf company incorporated in your home state, or it may be more practical, for tax purposes or other issues, to purchase a shelf corporation that was registered in another state, such as California, Delaware, Florida, Nevada or New York.


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