shell company

World English Dictionary
shell company
 
n
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

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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  shell company
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  an inactive corporation without assets that is used as a legal and financial entity through which another corporation can conduct certain matters
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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