Fast food multinational McDonald's is following other UK companies in relocating its European headquarters from the UK to Switzerland to avail the preferential intellectual property tax laws.
Illinois-based McDonald's, which had been planning moving its European headquarters for a year now, will be shifting its European headquarters to Geneva in Switzerland from London this year to escape the heavier taxes in the UK.
With many US multinationals having their regional European headquarters based in the UK, the US multinationals have been lured to relocate their European headquarters to Switzerland since the Swiss tax laws have been made more relaxed, mainly relating to intellectual property.
Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Google UK, Kraft, WPP Group, Henderson Group and Yahoo UK fled the UK's uncompetitive tax structures last year joined by other firms like Regus, the world's biggest provider of serviced office space, Publishing group 'United Business Media' and pharmaceutical company 'Shire, Electronic Arts and its arch-rival SCI, maker of the Tomb Raider series, moved from Wimbledon to Canada. (See: UK firms flee high taxes)
The UK's chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling had changed the tax rules earlier this year, which came into effect this month, where McDonald's would be paying twice the amount of tax on foreign profits relating to intellectual property.