Some formation agents, in addition to their standard packages, allow their customers to use one of their companies as a nominee director.
The fee payable in such circumstances can range from approximately £450 to £1,000 for one year’s service. The beneficial owner of the company can usually stop using the service at any time.
It is not unusual for persons in employment who want to start a business on their own in the same industry as their current employers to use a nominee director.
This can afford them some measure of anonymity whilst they establish themselves in business.
When the person reaches the stage where they are confident that they can replace their employment income with that generated from their business, they might appoint themselves as director and resign the nominee.
Company formation agents who offer a nominee director service normally ask the purchaser to sign a deed of indemnity. This is a document that states that the agent is acting solely as the named representative and is not responsible for any acts the purchaser may undertake.
The purchaser’s signature on the deed of indemnity is usually witnessed by noted professional, a judge, solicitor, accountant or doctor. The document is then returned the formation agent who will retain it for a number of years even after their tenure as nominee director has ended.
They might require proof at the later date that acts undertaken by the purchaser whist they were acting as nominee director were not their own.
In exchange for signing the deed of indemnity, the purchaser will be provided with a power of attorney signed by the formation agent’s representative (usually a director of the nominee company).
The power of attorney will state that the purchaser is the person in charge of the company and that the nominee has no practical authority in the running of the business. The purchaser is said to be a shadow director.