Shell companies are business entities typically without business operations or significant assets. Shell companies usually have a low paid up capital. Shell companies are not by themselves illegal. Some have legitimate business purposes. For example, shell companies can be used as vehicles to raise funds before starting operations, to take over another company, or to corporatise a business as a prelude to a public offering. Unfortunately, shell companies can also be used as vehicles to commit crime (e.g. to cheat, evade tax, receive bribes, finance terrorism or launder money). Read the Guidance from the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) to help you identify shell companies that are set up for receiving and transferring proceeds of crime.
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