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The film industry does something similar to what Starbucks is doing (and I am guessing many major brands). 'They pay "branding rights" to the parent corporation' This increases their overhead and is a major reason why most films are not "Profitable", but they are if you take out this brand licensing fee. Because many taxes and bonuses are based on profit companies can save huge amounts of money.

Also, does anyone know if the company that owns the Starbucks brand is located in the USA? My guess is that it is not due to tax reasons.

The Starbucks brand is controlled via a corporate entity in the Netherlands. This is pretty common; IIRC Ikea does the same thing.

I don't know about Starbucks, but I know Google does the same thing and pays branding rights to their Irish HQ.

Unfortunately, I can't find the article that details it. If I can, I'll post it.

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