Have you prepared your business for Brexit?

The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and this means your business may need to prepare for change.

Brexit planning

Delivering a deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority. With an implementation period until December 2020, this would give businesses stability, certainty and time to prepare for our new relationship after EU Exit.

However, the government must plan for every possible outcome including no deal. Without a deal, businesses may need to take action before the deadline.

You can answer a few simple questions to find out how to prepare your business. Alternatively, run through this Business Brexit Checklist and read our tips below.

EU citizens and Immigration status

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, EU nationals and their family members who have lived in the UK for at least five years by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for UK Settled Status.

EU citizens arriving in the UK on or after 30 March 2019, for a visit of up to three months, will not require a visa and may continue to enter the UK,
and evidence their right to work, using a valid passport or identity card.

EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK for 3 months up to 36 months will need to make an application for European Temporary Leave to Remain.

EU citizens who wish to stay for longer than 36 months will need to apply and qualify under the terms of the UK’s new skills-based immigration system, which will begin from 1 January 2021.

Do your staff know the next steps to take to register as an EU citizen working in the UK? Read more on workforce and future skills needs.

Cross-border trade

In the event of a no deal Brexit, UK businesses trading with the EU will need to register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (EORI) number to continue trading.

UK exporters to the EU after Brexit may in future be required to make customs declarations, resulting in possible border delays.

With 60 per cent of UK businesses whose suppliers are in the EU reporting that currency fluctuations have already made their supply chains more expensive, looking at which products you could source from within the UK could minimise any further disruption going forward.

If sourcing locally is not an option, focus on strengthening your relationships with existing suppliers to help you negotiate strong trading terms in the future.

Read more on cross-border trade here.

Avoid currency uncertainty

Taking steps to protect against currency volatility is a good way to safeguard your business against the impacts of Brexit.

Brexit currency

Currency experts can work with you to develop a specialised currency strategy, making it easier to plan your international payment costs in advance and budget accordingly.

Specialist payments providers are also the best way to find the most competitive foreign exchange rates and can offer advice on how to manage your international payments.

Analyse your target markets

Expanding your reach to markets outside of Europe, such as the US, China and Australia, could also provide an opportunity for growth, and could soften the blow of leaving the single market.

The UK is home to the third largest ecommerce market in the world, and marketplaces like Amazon and China’s Alibaba are an easy way to reach a wealth of new international customers.

Marketplaces offer customers a sense of security when buying online from cross-border suppliers and getting online is something you can take advantage of now while negotiations are still up in the air.

 

While it may seem like a good idea to wait and see how negotiations resolve, putting a plan in place now can really make a difference to how your business copes with life after Brexit.

Resources

How to prepare your business for Brexit
Find EU Exit guidance for your business
No deal sectoral guidance documents