The UK has a Register of Companies. It's run by Companies House - an agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
BIS is the government department that has for years been seeking to do itself out of business by removing as much business regulation as possible - in the process promoting every opportunity it can for cheats to prosper in the country.
Companies House has been subject to staff cust of more than 25% as a result.
My research showed in 2009-10 they lost touch with more than 300,000 of the companies they were meant to regulate - and so simply struck them off rather then try to do anything about it.
Now it's become apparent that they aren't capable of regulating the formation of companies either. As the BBC has reported today with regard to the freezing of assest fo former members of the corrupt Egyptian government:
The publicly accessible Companies House register reveals that one of those named on the sanctions list, Naglaa al-Ghazaerly, wife of the former housing minister, was able to register a company in her own name in London in November 2011, seven months after her assets were ordered to be frozen.
Companies House simply does not regulate. It doesn't even chase forms well. So the law is broken. Sanctions are not upheld. Crime happens. Tax is not paid. And all because governments have an obsession with de-regulation.
That's the price to society of neoliberalism.
Hat tip: Raveem Ismail