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shell company

noun (commerce)
1.
a near-defunct company, esp one with a stock-exchange listing, used as a vehicle for a thriving company
2.
a company that has ceased to trade but retains its registration and is sold for a small sum to enable its new owners to avoid the cost and trouble of registering a new company
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Contemporary definitions for shell company
noun

an inactive corporation without assets that is used as a legal and financial entity through which another corporation can conduct certain matters

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