Changing corporate domicile: the case of the Rhodesian Selection Trust companies

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This article explores the transfer of corporate domicile of the Rhodesian Selection Trust group of “Free-Standing Companies” (FSCs) from the UK to Northern Rhodesia. To explore the ‘nationality of the company’ we question how political and economic factors affected strategic decision-making. We contribute further understanding of the impact of international double taxation to the history of FSCs. The article illustrates how the ‘nationality of the firm’ became a contested zone of interaction as British imperial power waned, American capital investment became more dominant, and colonies began to assert themselves in their own ‘national’ interests. We conclude that international taxation was a decisive factor in the relocation of domicile, and was linked to changes in the organizational forms adopted by international business in this period. We use this to contribute to the historiographical debate about the decline of FSCs in the international economy, and the position of business in decolonization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1763308
Number of pages23
JournalBusiness History
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2020

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© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • International taxation
  • international business history
  • Free-standing companies
  • Zambi/Northern Rhodesia
  • domicile
  • imperialism
  • colonialism

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