There still isn’t firm rules or guidance in place for what businesses need to do to prepare for Brexit. However, whilst the government continues to work on the finer details of trade and tariffs, there are still a few things that business owners can be getting on with.

Export Duties and Import Costs

If your business is selling goods within the EU, you need to be aware that import charges might require you to charge more after the transition period. Customs duties may apply, making EU trade more expensive for UK retailers making it difficult to remain competitive as EU consumers are attracted to more affordable offerings from other Member States where no additional charges apply.

One thing that you can do is fill in this government form, which will give you a better understanding of the process of importing into the EU after Brexit. Following this process will guide you on the new rules for various types of goods, let you see the amount of tax you’ll need to pay, and help you to set up your Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This is the number that you’ll need to move goods in or out of the EU.

Be Aware of Visa Changes and Rules for EU Based Staff

If you or your staff travel internationally for work you’ll need to be aware of potential visa changes. This also applies if you have staff based within the EU, including those working remotely. Their working rights may change after Brexit, as might their right to work for your business.

There are other regulations that you’ll need to consider when it comes to staff in the EU:

  • Insurance
  • Professional qualifications
  • The ability to earn money

Gov.uk has a page that offers more information on these considerations.

Communicate with Your International Clients

Even if you don’t deal in imports or move goods overseas, your international and EU clients might still be worried about doing business with you once Britain has left the EU.

Give your clients confidence, make sure you’re as open with them as possible. Communicate any changes you’ll need to make as soon as you know what they are. Stay in contact as much as possible for the rest of the transition period, and afterwards.

Whilst encouraging client confidence, you still need to protect yourself whilst you’re preparing your business for Brexit. You may need to alter your contracts to reflect that you will no longer be operating within an EU framework, in order to ensure that clients don’t stop buying from you without warning.

Check Data Protection Laws

The way that you use, and store data is likely to change once the transition period is over. Make sure you’re aware of what these changes are likely to be to avoid getting caught out by huge fines or any other sanctions.

The UK will adopt the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), so this is one thing that you can be safe in the knowledge will stay the same. 

More information on how data protection will change can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.