You wouldn’t know to look at it, but this small, unassuming home in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a bustling center of American industry, with more than 2,000 companies registered to this single address.
Reuters had a look inside the house, home to Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist, and found “walls of the main room are covered floor to ceiling with numbered mailboxes labeled as corporate ‘suites’,” while a lone employee answers the phone and sorts mail.
WCS helps other businesses establish shell companies, businesses that exist only on paper and often just to hide assets. They also sell “shelf” companies, which come with built-in credit histories and regulatory findings for added legitimacy.
This is all completely legal, but Reuters says some of the companies doing business out of this little house on the prairie are questionable. There’s the shelf company sheltering real-estate assets controlled by a jailed former prime minister of Ukraine. And then there is the owner of two other firms banned from government contracting for selling counterfeit truck parts to the Pentagon.
Reuters calls this business, and others like it in corporation-friendly Wyoming, the Cayman Islands of the Prairie.
Check out the whole special report at Reuters.com.