With the UK set to leave the EU on 31st October, it is important to have a plan in place to prepare your business for Brexit and put it in the best position possible in time for the changes. Below we have listed some of the key things you need to consider before the UK leaves the EU.
The impact of Brexit on small businesses
There are 3 possible Brexit outcomes; Deal, No Deal, or No Brexit. The UK may leave immediately or, in a no-deal scenario, leave with a withdrawal agreement in place after a few months of delay. While it’s hard to know exactly how Brexit will affect small businesses and the details for each of these potential outcomes are still unconfirmed, you should still do research on the potential changes and other issues your business could face.
What threats do small businesses need to prepare for?
Access to Finance
Business owners may have to pay a higher price for credit after the exit from the EU and there may be higher interest rates.
Changes to immigration rules
Businesses that rely on EU skilled migrant labour may find themselves facing recruitment problems should immigration laws become more stringent.
Supply chain changes
You should have a thorough understanding of your supply chain, including any tariffs it is currently exposed to, and make sure you are aware of how this may change after Brexit.
Trade and Exports
Exporting will become more complex if the UK loses access to the customs union and could result in becoming more expensive
How businesses can prepare for Brexit
Investigate any sector-specific changes
One of the most important steps is doing your research. Spend time learning about potential regulatory changes that could affect your sector. Some minor amendments have already been made to the government’s health and safety regulations which can be found here.
Check your travel requirements
Another thing to consider is travel between the UK and the EU. If this is something you do, you will need to find out how the regulation will change and plan ahead. British passport holders will need to have 6 months remaining validity on their passports. You can read the rules for traveling to the EU after Brexit here.
Review your supply chain
Reviewing your supply chain should be a top priority. You should find out their plan to ensure continuity of service. As a business owner, you should consider every step of the chain and how it could affect you. It’s important to have discussions with them now rather than waiting until after Brexit.
Prepare for changes to customs, excise, and VAT
Whether you trade only with businesses within the EU, or with others from the rest of the world, you will need to review the possible changes you will face. You should already have your EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number (starting with ‘GB’), as you will need this for importing and exporting after Brexit. The government has released preparation checklists for EU-only traders and traders with the EU and/or the rest of the world, so make sure you are up to date on the latest requirements.
Want some more guidance?
Taking a proactive approach to Brexit is the best way to prepare. Keep up to date on the latest Brexit news and continue to make a plan in preparation for 31st October.
If you need any more advice on preparing your SME for Brexit please get in touch and we will be happy to help.