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    7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2009 1:00 PM by money4u

    Off-the-shelf corporations, are they real?

    luv4freedom Wayfarer

      While looking for financing for my start-up business, I came accross "off-the-shelf corporations". All of them charge an upfront fee and claim you get an established corporation with good credit. This seems to be aimed for people with bad credit. Is this a good alternative for startup, no collateral or perfect credit?
        • Re: Off-the-shelf corporations, are they real?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Off-the-shelf corporations, Welcome Yesenia

          Everybody in business (or going into business) should have a Lawyer and an Accountant.

          The other suggestion is to contact SCORE. SCORE is FREE both in person and online.

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Off-the-shelf corporations, are they real?
            caffeinated Scout
            When I read the phrase "off-the-shelf corporations," franchises come to mind. Are they two very distinct things?

              • Re: Off-the-shelf corporations, are they real?
                luv4freedom Wayfarer
                Yes. To the best of my knowledge: A company that sells off-the-shelf corpoporations sets up multiple corporations. They start building credit on them. So when a new business owner is in need of financing they sell them these pre-made corporations with established credit. Apparently making it easier for the new business owner to optain loans. I've seen them run from $800-3,500. Now, to me it seems something that is possible. My fear is giving these companies a large amount of money and ending up with nothing!
              • Re: Off-the-shelf corporations, are they real?
                Lighthouse24 Ranger
                The attorney in the office next to me creates "shelf aged corporations" (also called "seasoned" companies) and sells them (lots of corporate agencies and attorneys do).

                Basically, the founder sets up a legal corporation, gets a virtual office and phone number, opens accounts with a few suppliers, maybe files for a DUNS number, etc. -- but doesn't really do any business (the corporation "sits on the shelf"). He'll take care of state filings, tax returns, and all of that as required every year. Over time, the corporation will build a credit history by simply staying in business and not having any bad marks. So, in general, the older the corporation is and the more was done over the years to make it look like a solid, well-established enterprise, the more "valuable" it is and the more that the attorney will be able to sell it for -- which is where the up-front fee you mentioned comes in.

                So unless whatever enterprise you are considering would need to look like a solid, well-established enterprise from day one -- and it would be worth it to you to buy the aged entity from the person who set it up -- then there's no benefit. You'll build a brand new company's credit in the same way he did over time, and in most cases, it would be more logical to use your money to capitalize the firm. However, let's say you were positive that you could bid on and win a government contract, yet the RFP for the job stated that bidders "must have been listed with D&B for at least five years" or something similar. Then buying a shelf aged corporation that met the requirement might make sense.

                Hope that answers you question. Best wishes.
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                • Re: Off-the-shelf corporations, are they real?
                  money4u Wayfarer
                  I can help. Please email me at