After Unilever, which chose London as its headquarters last month, Shell also hinted at last weekend FD on a possible relocation of the headquarters to the UK. The Anglo-Dutch software group RELX already made that decision two years ago, but for Shell, the main problem would be that the abolition of the dividend tax would be abolished.
In some British newspapers, the story about Shell and Unilever was celebrated as a victory, thanks to or despite Brexit, with headlines such as The remains were proven wrong at Fast on London can cheer up with Unilever’s decision at Financial times.
What does that say about the business climate in the Netherlands?
With one leg in the UK
Very much, says VNO-NCW employer association president Hans de Boer: “It seems that we are pushing headquarters across the border with annoying rhetoric and tax measures that put us at a disadvantage. Other countries absorb these companies.” .
The Ministry of the Economy just wants to say the following: “A good business climate for companies, also for companies operating internationally such as Shell, is of great importance for the Dutch economy. The government takes seriously the signals when respect. We also regularly discuss this with many companies. “
But according to tax law professor Jan van de Streek, this doesn’t say much about the overall business climate in the Netherlands. “Unilever and Shell already have one foot in the UK. So you continue to have the problem of which DNA you have, Dutch or British. I don’t see any major obstacles in our tax system for other companies in the Netherlands to stay here.”
Harm-Jan de Kluiver, a professor of corporate law, also doesn’t see this as a precursor. “Shell is already an English company, based in the Netherlands. It was different at Unilever, they have a British company and a Dutch company. In essence, it all comes down to the same thing: they are partly British. It makes sense that the question arises one You see which country you finally choose. “
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