Ready-made shelf companies – off-the-shelf investments

Meeting room, table with speakers

Ready made shelf companies do pretty much as they say on the tin


If you want to buy a limited company, but baulk at the mountain of pre-planning and legal necessities required, why not buy a ready-made company?

A ready made shelf company is a dormant limited company pre-registered at Companies House. These companies have no trading history and, upon purchase, can begin trading immediately.

Ready made shelf companies - the business equivalent of buying an off the peg suit from Reiss, as opposed to getting yourself measured up for the bespoke equivalent on Savile Row

Ready-made shelf companies do pretty much as they say on the tin. It’s the business equivalent of buying an off the peg suit from Reiss, as opposed to getting yourself measured up for the bespoke equivalent on Savile Row.

The benefits and drawbacks of ready made shelf companies can also be adequately illustrated by the tailoring analogy. Off the peg businesses are all about convenience, the work of registering the company name and URL has already been done on your behalf. Effectively, you’re purchasing the finished product; quick, easy and ready to get started.

On the negative side, have you ever bought an off the peg suit only the find it’s a bit tight across the chest, short in the arm or wide around the ankle? Ready made shelf companies require a certain amount of compromise on the buyer’s behalf. You may not get exactly what you’re looking for, but the trick is to find the nearest possible fit to your desired model.

What do you get for the money?

The number of facets and bolt-ons that arrive with your ready made company will vary between brokers. However, your company should incorporate some or all of the following:

  • Domain name
  • Registration at Companies House
  • Website hosting and design
  • Multiple email addresses
  • Free accounting
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Statutory registers

Reputable brokers for ready made shelf companies for sale in the UK and Europe include, and

Buying a VAT registered ready made company is not recommended (it requires a degree of dishonesty on the VAT registration form which will inevitably lead to prosecution). Many brokers will VAT register a newly created off the shelf company on your behalf for a fee of around £150, but you can do it yourself for free at HM Revenue and Customs.

In a hurry? Act now!

If you’re considering the purchase of a ready made shelf company, check out the myriad listings on the aforementioned brokers’ sites today. Be aware that buying a ready made company is generally more expensive than registering a new company; most off the shelf companies incur a ‘holding fee’.

Moreover, annual returns and corporation returns (yearly legal requirements) may also have been filed at a cost to the company’s vendor, and they’ll be expecting you to cover these costs also.


11 comments about this article

comment by Jason Edwards
Hi do you have any Irish vat registered companies for sale I'm looking for a telecoms company
comment by Karel Stastny
Dear Sirs, we are consultation company from Czech Republic and we are looking for our client for a ready made company in UK. He needs to start his business as soon is possible. For his business he needs company with VAT number and Bank account. Please let me know if you have some solution, price and about another possibilities and conditions. We are ready to come in UK during next week to arrange everything to help our client start... Sorry for my English... Thank you so much and I am waiting for your answer... With best regards, Karel Stastny EUNICONN
comment by iho
we are a swiss based company, with clients interested in buying ready made companies with ready bank account, it can be an old company or shelf company, these days the offer of such service is very popular in china and mostly in hongkong, so if you can help us, we are ready to make a long term relationship, we can visit your office and discuss more, awaiting your reply
comment by Oliver Hartmann
Hi We at Formations House are currently offering following business startup packages in the UK & HK • UK readymade company+UK bank account • UK readymade company+VAT number • UK readymade company+UK bank account + VAT • Hong Kong readymade company + Hong Kong bank account (HSBC) Let me know if interested Best regards Oliver FORMATIONS HOUSE
comment by Oliver Hartmann
Hi We at Formations House can offer UK readymade company UK readymade company with UK Bank account UK readymade company with VAT number UK readymade company + Bank Account + VAT You can send e-mail at for complete information Oliver
comment by Daniel Holden
Hi Daniel, We really appreciate you recommending our company, Readymade Companies Worldwide. We are currently offering a 5% discount until the end of the year so if anyone would like further information, feel free to contact me, Daniel Holden on +44 (0) 20 8421 7475 or at If this comment is against your terms and conditions, please remove it and accept my apologies. If you'd like content for your site on readymade/shelf companies, we have a large collection of articles which we'd be happy to send you to print at no cost.
comment by Gulnar Cowasjee
would like to go in for a readymade setup. What are the options open for purchase ?
comment by ZAK
comment by Mr Rafaqat Shah
Hi there just a quick query regarding a set-up of a new business. I have just been advised by a collegue that it is possible to buy an 'off the shelf company' , I was previously unaware that such a service existed. I would preferably like an up to date list of all companies available; as either vintage or dormant, i would also like to know if things like bank accounts, websites and any other services were included in the packages. I am very new to this field so i would also like to extend my apologies for any inconviences, also please do not hesitate to make me aware of any issues i may have overlooked. looking forward to your reply. Many thanks Mr R. A. Shah
comment by Mark
I wish to buy a care home company in Uk. with memorandum of association etc.
comment by Shariful Hasan
I want to purchase readymade company in europe so please send me full detail of this purchasing

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