Friday 29 July 2011

Virgin considers move to Switzerland for its IP licensing business

The Mail Online reported earlier this week that Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Enterprises, which owns the trade marks and other intellectual property rights to the Virgin brand, is considering relocating to Switzerland. According to a company spokesman,
"Virgin Group has become increasingly focused on the development of the Virgin brand internationally and especially in emerging markets. To reflect this, we are considering moving our licensing entity to Switzerland in the near future to co-ordinate our international growth and brand management". 
This is the sort of thing that every government dreads. Taxation of corporate trade is a vital ingredient of any national budget and it's worth offering a lower rate of tax on the basis that you'll attract more taxpayers into the jurisdiction -- but this in turn invites a race to the bottom as national tax rates are forced to drop in order to retain existing corporate tax-payers. Looks a bit like competition, doesn't it?

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