Will the UK win the Netherlands in the corporate battle?

After Unilever, which chose London as its headquarters last month, Shell also hinted at it at the end of last week FD About the possibility of moving the headquarters to the United Kingdom. Anglo-Dutch software group RELX actually made this choice two years ago, and for Shell the main pain point for Shell is that the abolition of dividend tax is over.

In some British newspapers, Shell and Unilever were celebrated as victories – thanks to or despite Brexit – with headlines like Solve the rest In the Expression Bee London can accept Unilever’s decision In the Financial times.

What does this say about the business climate in the Netherlands?

One leg in the UK

“It looks like we’re pushing headquarters across borders with hateful rhetoric and financial measures that put us at a disadvantage. Other countries are absorbing these companies,” says Hans de Boer, president of VNO-NCW.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs just wants to say the following: “The good business climate for companies, but also for companies operating internationally like Shell, is of great importance to the Dutch economy. The government is taking indications about this seriously. We also discuss this regularly with many companies.”

But according to tax law professor Jan van de Strick, 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 she continues to face the DNA problem, be it Dutch or British. Relative to other companies in the Netherlands, I don’t see any major obstacles in our tax system for staying here. “

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Harm Jean de Clover, professor of corporate law, doesn’t see this as an introduction either. “Shell is a true English company and its head office is in the Netherlands. It was different at Unilever, they have a British and Dutch company. It’s basically the same thing: They are partly British. Then of course … the question arises. As which country you should definitely choose.” “.

Megan Vasquez

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