After Unilever, which chose London as its headquarters last month, Shell also hinted at it at the end of last week FD Regarding the possible relocation of the headquarters to the United Kingdom. Anglo-Dutch software group RELX did indeed make this choice two years ago, and for Shell the main pain point is that the profit tax abolition is over.
In some British newspapers, Shell and Unilever were celebrated as a victory – thanks to or in spite of Brexit – with headlines like Fix the rest In the Expression On London can accept Unilever’s decision In the Financial times.
What does that say about the business climate in the Netherlands?
Single leg in the UK
“We seem to be pressing the head offices across borders with annoying letters and financial measures that put us at a disadvantage,” says Hans de Boer, president of VNO-NCW. “Other countries are taking over these companies.”
The Ministry of Economic Affairs just wants to say the following: “The good business climate for companies, as well as for companies operating internationally like Shell, is of great importance to the Dutch economy. The government is taking signals about this seriously. We also regularly discuss this with many companies.”
But according to tax law professor Jan van de Strik, this doesn’t say much about the general business climate in the Netherlands. “Unilever and Shell both already have their feet in the UK. Then you will continue to have your DNA problem, whether it’s Dutch or British. As for the other companies in the Netherlands, I don’t see any major hurdles in our tax system to stay here.”
Harm-Jean de Clover, professor of corporate law, also doesn’t see this as an introduction. “Shell is really an English company, with a head office in the Netherlands. It was different at Unilever, they have both a British and a Dutch company. Basically it’s the same thing: they are partly British. Then apparently .. the question that arises once is the same. One for any country you would definitely choose. “