Six Brexit questions SMEs need to answer sooner rather than later
The UK is going to leave the EU on Friday January 31st.
There will be a transition period of up to a year to allow for a trade deal to be agreed and ratified. If this doesn’t happen, the transition period could be extended or the UK would leave the EU without a trade deal and revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on January 31st 2021.
Angela Crossley, Director of Strategy and Change at The Insolvency Service recently attended a conference of international insolvency regulators so is taking a keen interest that the UK’s insolvency regime is as robust as possible to handle any Brexit related bumps.
She said: “The UK government has made clear that it’s in the interests of the UK and the EU that there continues to be an effective framework for resolving cross-border legal matters, including insolvency, after we leave.
“It’s in everyone’s interests, small businesses and insolvency professionals included, to prepare as well as they can.”
The Insolvency Service have also devised a checklist of six things small and medium-sized businesses can do now to – in their words – Get Ready for Brexit. These are:
- Signpost the EU Settlement Scheme
EU, EEA and Swiss staff should get the information they need to apply for official status under the EU Settlement Scheme which will allow them to secure their rights in the UK. There is a toolkit for employers to help support their employees but they only have until December 2020 to make an application.
- Make sure employees professional qualifications are recognised in the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
Any national of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland will need their qualifications recognised by the relevant UK regulator. UK professionals working in those countries should get them recognised by the relevant regulator in that country.
- Act now to continue legally receiving personal data from EU/EEA after Brexit
Steps may need to be taken after Brexit to continue to legally receive personal data including names, addresses and payroll details from EU or EEA organisations.
- Check requirements to operate in EU member states
EU and EEA countries will have regulations that UK businesses, service providers, employees and self-employed workers have to comply with. After Brexit there may be additional legal, regulatory and administrative barriers including visas or work permits that need to be obtained.
- Prepare for new customs and VAT procedures at the border when trading with the EU
Companies which import from or export to the EU will have to make changes including obtaining a free UK EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number.
- Confirm any EU funding currently received is guaranteed
The UK government has guaranteed UK organisations will continue to receive funding over their projects’ lifetimes if they’ve successfully bid into EU-funded programmes up to the end of 2020. Some payments may be extended beyond this date.
No matter what happens with Brexit, things will happen to your business that you haven’t prepared for and won’t know how to deal with immediately.
Contact us today and we’ll arrange a free initial consultation with one of our expert team of advisors to look at your contingencies and where your company is most vulnerable.
It’s important to prepare for events that might not happen because, well, sometimes they do.