Article by Laura Walshe of The Business Debt Advisor
The UK’s departure from the European Union will inevitably mean change for businesses across all sectors, including small enterprises.
While some businesses are already planning for the challenges and opportunities ahead, it would be useful for all companies to review current processes and future plans.
Although the final outcome is uncertain, setting aside time to consider what will change and how to make the most of these changes could yield success in the future.
Below are some of the main points to consider when preparing your business for Brexit.
Protect Continuity of Supply
If you currently receive goods from suppliers in the EU, your business will need to be ready to import from the EU, post-Brexit.
Your business will already have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification number (EORI) if it trades outside the EU.
If the UK leaves without a deal, your business will need to apply for one in order to continue trading goods into or out of the UK.
You should ensure that you talk to key suppliers and take reasonable measures to prevent breaks in supply. This will be particularly important if a delay would mean that your customers are unable to receive a product or service on time.
If you have doubts as to whether existing suppliers can maintain service levels, then it could be time to switch. Knowing this in advance gives you the time to compare your other options.
Protect your Workforce
If the UK leaves with a deal then the current immigration regime is expected to continue.
However, if we leave without a deal then you might need to consider what skills are essential to your business and if you will need to recruit someone from outside of the UK to fill a vacancy?
As an alternative, could your business provide training to recruit from within the UK?
Under the proposed 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.
Those who have been here for less than 5 years can apply for Pre-Settled status until they meet the full criteria. The EU Settlement Scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019, with the closing date for applications being 30 June 2021.
Focus on your Businesses Strengths
Now is a good time to take stock, remind yourself what your business is good at, and what you can do to minimise disruption regardless of the financial outcome.
By taking a proactive approach, your business will continue to flourish.
Maintain Regulatory Compliance and Standards
Business owners should take time to learn about potential changes that could affect their business, although this will depend on how the UK leaves the EU.
In general terms, businesses should continue to comply with the current standards.
Some amendments have already been made to health and safety regulations in preparation for Brexit. This has broadly resulted in the removal of references to the EU, rather than changes to legal requirements and existing protections.
- Information on Data Protection regulation can be found here.
- Information on product safety can be found here.
By following these tips, you should be in a strong position to safeguard your business against any impact which arises once the UK leaves the EU.
If your business has been drastically affected by uncertainty or you have concerns about its viability then please fill out our Contact Form and we will be in touch.
Alternatively, call our FREE ADVICE LINE on 0800 781 0990.
Our team has extensive experience in dealing with businesses across all sectors and can arrange an initial consultation at no cost, usually on the same day.