Published on 12.08.2010
As the relative role of brands, IP and other intangible assets in business continues to grow, multi-nationals are increasingly looking to shelter the value created by these assets from tax authorities.
In the current political climate, there is a risk that legitimate re-structuring of the brand or IP management function, together with the creation of cross-border internal licensing agreements, will be viewed with increasing suspicion by the affected tax authorities. There is no doubt that such moves are already coming under intense scrutiny.
Despite huge negative political sentiment, significant commercial and financial benefits are available to organisations that transfer the management of international brands to dedicated brand management companies in locations such as Switzerland, Ireland and Singapore and many companies are pursuing this route.
Careful planning through a detailed feasibility study is recommended to avoid potential complications and pitfalls but the benefits will often outweigh the risks.