Brexit. Business owners may shudder at the very mention of the word, but more than 3 years after the original vote was held – it seems we are getting closer to leaving the European Union; be that with or without a deal.
Regardless of the result and your opinions on the topic, as a business owner, it’s important to ensure that you have prepared to minimise the risk of Brexit having an impact on your businesses’ ability to trade as normal.
To help business owners, HMRC have made a number of documents available through GOV.UK highlighting the main areas that will be affected and offering advice to ensure that business continues as usual following the UK’s departure
An EORI will be essential for any business that is trading with the EU after Brexit. There are several misconceptions around EORI numbers. Download the myth buster fact sheet here.
What Is an EORI?
An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is a unique customs ID for businesses. The number will start with GB followed by 12 digits and will include the VAT registration number of the business if applicable.
If you buy or sell items from EU countries, you will need to make sure that you are prepared for new import and export arrangements once the UK leaves the EU. Download the simple trader checklist here.
There are also two more detailed checklists available for using roll on roll off (RoRo) locations after Brexit, these are designed to give traders advice on which procedures to use when importing or exporting goods through RoRo locations:
- Importing goods from the EU into the UK through RoRo locations after Brexit.
- Exporting goods into the EU through RoRo locations after Brexit.
Northern Ireland Trader Checklist
If your business buys items or sells products to customers in Ireland, you need to be aware of new import and export arrangements that will apply once the UK leaves the EU. Download the simplified trader checklist for Northern Ireland here.
Selling Services to the EU After Brexit
If you sell services to the EU, any changes you make will be largely dependent on whether the UK leaves with a deal or not. We recommend regularly checking the dedicated page on selling services to the EU after Brexit for the most up to date information.
What If the UK Leaves Without a Deal?
Whilst this is looking less likely than previously, there is still a chance that the UK could leave the EU without a deal. The Government have released detailed guidance on how to prepare for Brexit if there is a no deal which can be found here.
Business Brexit Checklist
Even if you do not buy or sell goods or services from the EU, it’s important to understand what impact Brexit may have on your business. Other considerations your business should make include:
- Workforce – EU workers, recognition of qualifications and future skills needs should all be considered.
- Data – The UK is committed to upholding GDPR post-Brexit, so you need to ensure you are compliant with the regulations.
- Laws – Be aware of any sector specific EU laws which currently apply to your business and how they might change after Brexit.
- Clients – Are any of your clients based in the EU? Keep lines of communication open with them and understand how Brexit might impact the service you provide.
- Suppliers – Equally, check in with your suppliers, how are they prepared for Brexit? Can they continue to deliver the same service to you at the same price?
- Accounting – Carry out forecasting with your accountant or in-house accounts team to forecast what financial impact Brexit might have on your business.
For further information and tailored advice based on your business, we recommend using the Brexit check tool on the GOV.UK website.
Talk to the Experts
Brexit has been a turbulent issue for many business owners across the UK and a time of real uncertainty. At FCF, we understand that during these times, you need an accountant you can rely on to save you time to focus on your business.
To find out more about the services we offer, and the implications of Brexit with regards to business accounting, give us a call today 0117 379 0810.
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This post was written by Steph Roffey