Ever increasing online vacation-rental service AirBnB is planning to set up its European headquarters in Ireland, joining other U.S. technology companies Google and Apple, which take advantage of the country’s low corporate tax rate. Europe is the largest market for AirBnB’s web site, which lists anything from a furnished home to box room and almost anything else you may care to sleep in for that matter. And some of these rooms for rent go for hundreds of dollars per night! AirBnB has become one of the Silicon Valley’s most successful start-ups in the five years since it was founded by a trio of graduates from Harvard and the Rhode Island School of Design.
But it has come up against authorities in cities like New York and San Francisco that levy taxes on or even prohibit short-term rentals. This raises questions about how it will navigate local regulations as it continues to grow. Chief executive Brian Chesky said recently in a blog post that the company would set up its European headquarters in Dublin because it was an emerging technology hub and had a tradition of hospitality. “Dublin is known the world over for its warm welcome.
The city has a reputation for being one of the most hospitable and friendliest places in the world,” Chesky said. Ireland is one of several European Union member states facing inspection from the EU’s competition authority, which said on Thursday it was looking into corporate tax arrangements in several countries, including Ireland. These events follow revelations about the tax-planning practices of big international companies, such as Apple and Google, that allow them to pay minimal tax rates.
Irish state broadcaster RTE said AirBnB may hire up to 100 people in Dublin, but this is speculation as the company has not respond to questions about how many people would be employed.
[Image via: theonehourstartup]