A shelf company is itself a company that has been registered though never active and has been metaphorically ‘left on the shelf’. It was popular in times past for people to purchase a shelf company so that all the hassle involved in setting up the company at first instance was avoided. However, with the appearance of service-providers like EasyCompanies, it is now usually more cost effective and much quicker to register a new company.
EasyCompanies registers new Australian proprietary companies and does not offer shelf companies for businesses to use.
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Updated — Sep 6, 2015