As the Brexit deadline continues to be drawn out, it’s important that you continue carrying out health checks on your business and wider business plan. No matter whether you are a small, local business or a large organisation, Brexit is sure to have some impact.
With a general election in the near future too, the political and economic landscape of the UK has been quickly thrown back into uncertainty. So, whether you have already been preparing your business for Brexit or you’re a little late to the party, you don’t need to do it alone.
There are a number of areas that businesses should consider when thinking about the impact of Brexit, in particular preparing for no-deal. No matter what industry you are in, you can prepare for Brexit accordingly to try and minimise the impact of leaving the EU. This can include issues like workforce, taxation and other preparations may need to be made.
The UK has become a diverse country, with many workforces including EU nationals. You need to ensure that both yourself and your employees are aware of any changes to rules regarding passport use and travel changes.
According to the British Chambers of Commerce, the European Commission has proposed granting UK citizens visa-free travel in the EU. This would be for the likes of business meetings and training, for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. Those exceeding this limit may then require a visa or permit. If you often need to travel to the EU for work, you also need to consider any changes to currency or driving that may take place.
For those travelling from the EU to the UK for business, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK for up to 3 months at a time without a visa. This is valid during the period between the Brexit date and January 2021. Those wishing to extend their stay longer than 3 months will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain.
If your business trades goods with the EU, you need to consider the possible changes that may occur with taxation. In the event of a no-deal, the UK will likely introduce postponed accounting. This is the system that is currently in place for intra-EU trade.
Postponed accounting means that you will not need to pay VAT at the border, instead accounting for import VAT on your VAT Return. This may allow your business to maintain cash flow on the goods you bring in from the EU.
If your business trades in goods and you are thinking about holding stock in an EU country, in order to supply to EU customers, you will need to register for VAT in that country. You should carefully consider which country would be best suited to this.
If there is a no-deal Brexit, any UK businesses trading with the EU will need a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number in order to continue trading.
Any businesses that are already VAT registered and already trade with the EU will be automatically issues an EORI number. However, if you have an EU supplier, you should check that they have an EU EORI number so that they are able to send goods to the UK.
If you are a non-VAT registered company who trades with the EU, you should think about applying for an EORI number to continue trading in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Brexit could mean potential customs checks between the UK and the EU, which may incur delays at the border. However, it is not yet known how the checks will be enforced. With that in mind, you need to think about how resilient your supply chain is in the face of delays.
You should also consider if you will incur any penalties for late deliveries, and if you should increase your stock to protect your business against any delays.
With Brexit seemingly still up in the air, do what you can now to ensure your business can continue being successful even after leaving the EU.
Posted on November 14, 2019 | brexit, selling a business, selling a failing business