Buy a Shelf Company

Buy a limited company with no trading history (dormant companies), ready-made for you manage

What is a Shelf Company?

A shelf company (also known as a ready made company) is a company that has been formed but never traded. They’re ideal if you require a company number extremely quickly or if you need to operate as an older company.

Buy an off the shelf company from Companies MadeSimple if you are looking for a ready-made company with years on the Companies House register.

All of our off the shelf companies are up to date with their Dormant Company Accounts and Confirmation Statement filing obligations.

Why Buy a Shelf Company:

  • Simplicity - The process is quick and easy with a company number available straight away.
  • Longevity - This can boost investor or consumer confidence. Some jurisdictions actually require that a company be in business for a certain length of time before signing contracts.

When you buy a shelf company in the UK, there’s no need to worry about the formation process. A shelf company has already been registered and incorporated, meaning that you can make use of the company straight away. Even if you wish to change your company name, the initial registration date of your off the shelf company stays the same!

Here at Companies MadeSimple, we offer a selection of ready-made companies that can provide a sense of stability and trustworthiness. After all, companies that have a longer history are more likely to appear reliable and prestigious to clients and suppliers. 

How It Works:

  1. Select ‘Buy Now’ for the Standard or Premium service, ensuring you choose the appropriate year for the shelf company’s year of incorporation. 
  2. We'll automatically email you the shelf company template, for you to complete with your chosen company name
  3. We'll then make the relevant appointments and resignations (please note the name has not been reserved until the template has been returned to us)
  4. We'll complete the J30 stock transfer form and, with the premium service only, we’ll also file a confirmation statement to notify Companies House of the new shareholding details.
  5. With the Premium package, you will also be able to use our N1 address as your Registered Office and Director/s Service Address. Any mail from HMRC, Companies House and Government Gateway that we receive will be opened and securely scanned to you.

Off the shelf company names are available on a first come first serve basis. View the full list of available names here.

All Shelf Company Packages Include:

  • Electronic copy of the Original Certificate of Incorporation

  • Electronic Copy of Memorandum & Articles of Association

  • J30 Stock Transfer Form

  • Online Admin Portal To Manage Your Company

  • Up-to-date Dormant Company Accounts and Confirmation Statement Filing Obligations.

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Proof of ID

We have a legal obligation to check Proof of ID and Proof of Address. This is to ensure we comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements. Please check our FAQs to see which documents we can accept.

  • Shelf Company 2023

    Includes electronic copies of the Original Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum & Articles of Association, plus a J30 Stock Transfer form.

    £199.99 +VAT

    £199.99 +VAT

  • Shelf Company 2023 - Premium

    Includes everything in the Standard package plus the Registered Office & Service Address to protect your residential address from the public register, and the filing of a Confirmation Statement to notify Companies House of new shareholders.

    £249.99 +VAT

    £249.99 +VAT

  • Shelf Company 2024

    Includes electronic copies of the Original Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum & Articles of Association, plus a J30 Stock Transfer form.

    £149.99 +VAT

    £149.99 +VAT

  • Shelf Company 2024 - Premium

    Includes everything in the Standard package plus the Registered Office & Service Address to protect your residential address from the public register, and the filing of a Confirmation Statement to notify Companies House of new shareholders.

    £199.99 +VAT

    £199.99 +VAT

check-icon

Proof of ID

We have a legal obligation to check Proof of ID and Proof of Address. This is to ensure we comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements. Please check our FAQs to see which documents we can accept.

Our Frequently Asked Questions

On the right, you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

If you still can't find the answer to your question, why not try our virtual assistant?

View all FAQs

We’re Here To Help

Still have questions? Call us on 020 7608 5500 or contact us and our team will assist you. 

If the company name is not suitable, we highly recommend purchasing the Company Name Change service separately here after we have transferred the company over to you.

Yes, it is safe to buys a Shelf Company. A shelf company is a dormant company with no trading history, so you can rest assured that the company is financially clean and there are no outstanding burdens.

You do not have to use your own address or office if you do not want to. Company Formation MadeSimple can provide a Registered Office Service with a prestigious London N1 address.

Our Premium Shelf Company services include the use of our address renewable annually at the retail cost of our Registered Office service. 

Please Note: Your Registered Office must be based in England or Wales with any purchase of our Shelf Company packages. The Registered Office address will appear online on the public register. 

A Shelf Company (also known as a ready made company) is a company that has been formed but never traded. They’re ideal if you require a company number extremely quickly or if you need to operate as an older company.

All of our shelf companies are up to date with their Dormant Company Accounts and Confirmation Statement filing obligations.

There are many reasons as to why somebody may want to purchase a Shelf (or Ready Made) company rather than forming a brand new company. These include:

Simplicity

The process is quick and easy with a company number available straight away. Changing particular details on a company can be a lot quicker than starting from scratch and the processing times are generally quicker too. 

Feel confident that the company has been set up correctly as it would have been done by an expert in company formations. 

 

Longevity 

This can boost investor or consumer confidence. Some jurisdictions actually require that a company be in business for a certain length of time before signing contracts.

It has been psychologically proven that most people will have more faith and trust in a business that appears to have been running longer than a brand new company. 

 

The people that are required to provide ID will be the account holder, the director's and the People with Significant Control (PSCs). This is line with legislation that everyone considered having significant influence or control over a company and thus are the important decision makers will need to be ID checked. 

Companies House will be enforcing this as of Late 2023 through the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023

All officers of a company must be ID verified prior to an application (or request) being sent across to Companies House for approval.

With the help of Credas' digital ID software, our free online ID check is very simple to complete. You will just require:

  • Government-issued photo ID, i.e. passport or driving licence (not expired)
  • Proof of residential address issued with the last 3 months / annual statement, i.e. bank statement, utility bill, etc
  • A device with the ability to take a live selfie such as a webcam or camera phone.

During the online ID verification, Credas' facial recognition technology will check if you are present and determine whether your face (selfie) matches the photo on your ID.

For a full guide please visit Proof of ID and Address Requirements [Comprehensive Guide].

We have a number of different articles available to assist you with troubleshooting any problems you may have. Please view them on the following link:

ID Troubleshooting

Any other queries or assistance required, please contact our ID Compliance team at [email protected].

 

  • Select ‘I need to verify ID for someone else'.
  • Enter the email address of the officer being verified and click the Send validation link button.
  • An email with the validation link has now been sent to the officer’s email address. The officer must open the link and follow the on-screen instructions to verify their identity.

For a full walkthrough please visit here

We will be unable to activate or provide any services to customers (or companies) unable to complete our ID checks. 

If your new company name contains a sensitive word, for example "King", you will not be able to change the company name with online filing. Instead, you will need to use a paper submission along with the necessary supporting documents. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer assistance with paper submissions.

As soon as Companies House has accepted the name change, the new company name is entered on the register in place of the old name and a 'Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name' is available to download from your online account. This certificate states both the previous and new company name and the date that the new name came into effect. The company number remains the same.

Please Note: The certificate will contain the old company name, a certificate of incorporation (with only the one name) is only issued at the time of the company formation. 

You will need to update HMRC with your new company name (Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE). You will also need to update your bank, customers, suppliers, service providers, relevant authorities and other business contacts. Finally, don't forget to update your company stationery, signage, website and domain name as well.

We highly recommend that you check the availability of your new company name via our company name search tool before placing an order. If, however, the company name is submitted but not approved by Companies House, you can resubmit another company name at no additional fee.

For more information, please click here.

It usually takes around 3 working days to change a company name on the Companies House register, this is subject to their workload. A same day guaranteed service is available if this is needed urgently. 

There are many reasons why a company will need to transfer shares, for example:

  • The retirement or death of a shareholder
  • Recouping investment
  • Changing the business structure
  • The shareholder(s) are leaving the business

If you transfer shares from one person/ company to another then you are essentially removing the shareholder from the company as they are left with no shares.

Please Note: If the person being removed from the company was one of the initial shareholders at the time of incorporation, they will still be considered "Subscribers" to the company as these cannot be changed. 

Our Transfer of Shares service is if you want to transfer existing share/s from one shareholder to another and require the transfer process to be documented on paper. You must receive consent from all members of your company prior to completing a transfer.

What do I receive?

  • J30 Stock Transfer Form
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Blank Share Certificate
  • Confirmation Statement to inform Companies House of share transfers.

These documents act as a receipt for your new shareholder. Maximum number of transfers are subject to the service that your purchased (transfers must be for the same company). If you would like to make more than 3 transfers please read the following article: "I need to make more than 3 Transfers".

If applicable, stamp duty fee is not included.

Please Note: Details of this transfer are not automatically updated online at Companies House. Any changes to the shareholding will only reflect on the Companies House register once a Confirmation Statement has been filed.

For shares over £1,000, the J30 stock transfer form is required to be stamped by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The payment for this is known as stamp duty and is currently 0.5% of the share amount, rounded to the nearest £5. 

For example, to transfer shares valued at £1,800, 0.5 x 1800 = £9.00 so a £10 stamp duty fee is payable.

To process a share transfer we require:

  • Company Name
  • The name and address of the person who is transferring the shares
  • The name and address of the person who is receiving the shares
  • The number of shares being transferred

This will be requested with your purchase confirmation email of our Transfer of Shares service so please feel free to simply reply to that email with the requested information as swiftly as possible to ensure a quicker turnaround for completion.