Ready-made companies go by their other name: “shelf companies”. These are offshore companies that have already been registered by the Registered Agent and are awaiting “on the shelf” until they are bought by an interested client (hence the name). The primary purpose of buying a ready-made company is to save a bit of time that would otherwise be spent during the complete new-registration procedure.
In some circumstances it may also be necessary to have an IBC, that has already been in legal existence for some time – for formalizing an existing de-facto deal, or for purely having a company with a more respectable age. A variation of this option are the so-called “vintage” or “aged” companies. A vintage company may have been held for several years “on the shelf” before it is sold to a customer. A purchase of a vintage company is justified when there is a genuine necessity to show that the company has actually been in legal existence for quite some time.
While a regular shelf company would usually cost the same as a brand-new IBC, a vintage company will always be much more expensive. This is because the government fees, the Registered Office and Registered Agent fees for all the previous years will have to be covered on top of the primary incorporation fees.
Ready-made IBC`s are guaranteed by the Registered Agent to have no transaction history whatsoever. Quite simply, shelf companies have been absolutely dormant since incorporation. Documents of a shelf company have never left the Registered Agents` offices. Written guarantees can always be provided by the Registered Agent to confirm that the shelf company has not traded.