Our website uses  cookies for statistical purposes.

  • 21/5 Kuznetsky most str., 107996, Moscow
  • clients(at)lawyersrussia.com
  • +7(495)504-12-15
Our Articles

Shelf Company in Russia

Shelf Company in Russia

shelf company is a business that is already incorporated, and all legal requirements are accomplished. The shelf company is registered, incorporated and sold through accounting or law firms. The most important advantage of a shelf company is that it can start its business activity after being bought by an investor. If you are interested in opening a business in Russia, our company formation specialists in Russia can help you acquire a shelf company here. 

 Quick Facts  
  Legal entities available for shelf company

– limited liability company, 

 – joint stock company

Time required for purchasing the company

A few days

Types of features it includes (corporate bank account, VAT number, etc)

– bank account,

– trading name,

– tax number,

– legal address,

– license

The advantages of a shelf company

– fast purchase & ownership transfer,

– hiring foreign employees,

– varied activities

Appointing new directors 


Capital increase allowed


Certificate of no commercial activities


Modify the objects of activity Yes
Participants in the purchase procedure Buyer (or representative) & seller
The cost of buying a shelf company   It depends on type of structure and age
 Is a shelf company active at the time of purchase in Russia?

No, an aged company doesn’t have any activities on the market.

Who can buy a shelf company in Russia? 

 Businessmen or other legal entities

Who is fully liable for the operations of a shelf company in Russia? 

The appointed company director

Documents linked to a shelf company in Russia 

– Certificate of Registration,

– company seal,

– documents showing the legal address

Do I need to apply for a license when buying a shelf company in Russia? 

 Yes, according to the specific operations you want to carry out in Russia.

Are there any risks related to buying a ready-made company in Russia? 

No, a shelf company doesn’t have activities, and therefore, no debts or liabilities. 

Company due diligence for shelf companies in Russia 

Available on request 

Traveling to Russia to buy a shelf company (YES/NO)  


Power of attorney 

Necessary when our local agents buy a shelf company in Russia on behalf of clients. 

Corporate longevity  A business advantage to attract collaborators and customers when owning a shelf company in Russia 
Can I change the name of the purchased company? (YES/NO) 


General director required (YES/NO) 


How quickly can I start the activities with a shelf company in Russia? 

As soon as the documents are signed and registered with the relevant authorities. 

Services provided by our local agents 

– specific verifications before a company is purchased,

– documents preparation,

– representation with a power of attorney in case of customers who do not want to travel to Russia 

Why choose our local specialists in Russia? 

We offer assistance in purchasing a shelf company in Russia and we can manage the entire formalities before the agreement is signed.

Our services are at affordable prices. 

Main characteristics of a shelf company in Russia

Usually, a shelf company in Russia is incorporated as a limited liability company or private joint stock company. The company has founding members, directors and a registered address in Russia and it can be set up by either an individual, either a legal entity. Our company formation agents can offer you more details about this type of company, but you should know that the buying process requires signing a share purchase agreement.  Buying a shelf company can also offer time saving advantages, otherwise spent with choosing a market, applying a business plan and incorporating the company. 

Regardless of the business structure chosen for the development of a business, we recommend the complete services offered by our accountants in Russia. In addition to the financial reports required and required by management, our specialists can also deal with payroll, audits, bookkeeping, or the preparation of annual financial statements. Therefore, you have full support at hand for the smooth running of the business you own in Russia.

Documents received when buying a shelf company 

You can set up your business in Russia after the purchase of the shelf company. When buying a company here, you have to receive the following documents: 

  • Certificate of Inclusion, issued by the State Register;
  • Certificate of Registration, issued by the Taxing Authority;
  • documents attesting the legal address of the company;
  • documents attesting the opening of the settlement account;
  • the seal of the company;
  • a license, which attests the right to legally perform the business activity in which the shelf company is incorporated in.

In Russia, it is forbidden to have as a legal address for the company the address of a residential settlement. The address stated in the documents has to be certified by the Russian tax authorities. If you want to register a company in Russia and you also want to employ foreign citizens, the company must have an actual office, as the Migration Law in Russia states that foreign individuals must have a working permit to be allowed to work here.  Here is an infographic with details about shelf companies in Russia:


Who can buy vintage companies in Russia?

Shelf companies in Russia can be purchased by local and foreign entrepreneurs looking for a fast start on the market, without having to wait for all the incorporation procedures. The ownership transfer needs to be considered at the time a shelf company is bought in Russia. This is often the choice of foreign investors who would rather skip any formalities linked to company registration in Russia and instead purchase a ready-made company in Russia. All the details about the ownership transfer of a shelf company in Russia can be explained by one of our company formation specialists in Russia.

How fast can I buy a shelf company in Russia?

The process of ownership transfer of a shelf company starts immediately, as soon as you made a request to our company formation representatives in Russia. You can buy a shelf company within a few days, as soon as the documents are accepted by the Trade Register in Russia.

Is there any risk when purchasing a shelf company in Russia?

No, vintage companies in Russia are not subjects to risks and that because such a company is already registered, it has no operations and therefore no debts or liabilities registered. Ready-made companies in Russia are kept on a shelf until they age and until someone buys them.

However, if you consider a double check on the shelf company in Russia, you might be interested in a company due diligence procedure. This is a process that reveals whether a company has problems or not if it has debts or not. You may request a company due diligence procedure from our consultants prior to the purchase of a shelf company in Russia.

The following video presentation contains information about shelf companies in Russia

Traveling to Russia for buying a vintage company – is it necessary?

No, there is no need to travel to Russia to buy a shelf company, as the entire process can be conducted and managed by one of our company incorporation specialists in Russia. The only thing left for you to do is to send us a set of notarized documents and the power of attorney, in order for our consultants to commence the procedure of purchasing the ready-made company in Russia

Grounds for buying a ready-made company in Russia

shelf company in Russia can be purchased for many considerations, but the main purpose of an entrepreneur is to establish his/her business presence in a fast manner without waiting for the entire incorporation procedure. Having no operations make shelf companies top choices for foreign investors looking for a business in Russia. Also, vintage companies can activate in the particular sector you are interested in Russia.

Because there are no debts or liabilities, shelf companies in Russia are preferred by many entrepreneurs wanting a safe business environment. Also, there is no need to consider the incorporation formalities and the time spent until the company is registered, and that because the shelf companies are already registered in Russia. If you would like to know more about how you can buy a shelf company in Russia, do not hesitate to address your questions and inquiries to our team of consultants in Russia.

FAQ about shelf companies in Russia

1. Is it necessary to travel to Russia to buy a shelf company?

No, there is no need to travel to Russia for purchasing a vintage company, as our company formation specialists can take care of the formalities involved for the ownership transfer. 

2. How rapidly can I start the business in Russia?

In most of the cases, it takes a few days until the documents are approved and until the ownership is settled.

3. Does a shelf company have debts?

No, vintage companies have no operations in Russia, so there are no debts involved.

4. Who can buy shelf companies in Russia?

Anyone interested in having a business in Russia can purchase a shelf company, therefore there are no restrictions for foreigners.

5. Are there any fees involved for vintage companies in Russia?

The ownership transfer of a shelf company in Russia might be subject to certain fees for which information you can receive from our consultants.

Investments in Russia

Foreign investors in Russia have a multitude of business opportunities in this country and can benefit from a stable and appreciated economy. Here is information and statistics about investments and the economy in Russia:

  1. USD 13,332 million was the FDI inward flow for 2018 in Russia.
  2. According to the “2019 Doing Business” report provided by the World Bank, Russia ranks 31st out of 190 worldwide economies.
  3. Cyprus, UK, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are the main investors in Russia.
  4. Around 325 greenfield investment projects have been approved in Russia in 2018.

If you need more information about the acquisition of a shelf company in Russia, please contact our company formation agents in Russia, who can provide you with relevant information about the business environment here.