The blatant marketing of shelf companies from Malta, by corporate service providers who are not sky about extolling the advantages such companies possess, serves to encourage and facilitate financial crime, and frankly makes it easier to exploit victims. Malta's reputation as a haven for financial criminals is reinforced when its citizens advertise its shelf companies on the Internet.
For the benefit of those who do not know the difference between a shell company, which has no assets or legitimate ongoing business, and a shelf company, which is a company formed a while ago, but is now available for sale, the shelf company (which may also be a shell company) represents a greater threat to commerce. The shelf company, which may have been incorporated some years ago, is generally presumed by business that it is in contact with to be a legitimate, normal taxpaying company. Unfortnately, this is far from true.
It's an artful deception; businesses that come in contact with the now-active shelf company assume it has compliednwith alll regulatory and legal requirements, pays taxes annually, makes a profit, and is definitely an ongoing affair. In truth and in fact, it is a shell, often existing purely as a vehicle to commit financial crime, and once used, quickly abandoned, leaving victims in its wake.
Here is the copy from a company seeking to sell Malta shelf companies online:
'BUY A SHELF COMPANY IN MALTA"
" A shelf cmpany in Malta is also known as an aged Maltese company...The company was formed and placed on a 'shelf' to age... People in business are more inclined to working with business that have been operating for a while... The other reason why people prefer buying an aged Malta comany is for the organization to look like it has existed for a longer time... With a shelf company, you can quickly build loyalty and assure your clients to offer nothing but the best." welcome-center-malta.com
In short, if you want to defraud or default on clients or customers, choose a shelf company to better and more quickly reach that goal. Want to engage in money laundering, sanctions evasion or terrorist financing ? Choose a shelf company that is a few years old, to beter deceive your victims. As the website says, "Welcome to Malta."