Yes – you DO need to prepare for a no-deal Brexit
Preparing for a no-deal Brexit
Unless the situation changes dramatically between now and 31 October, there’s a very strong chance the UK will be leaving the European Union without a deal.
If your business doesn’t directly trade with firms elsewhere in the EU, it’s very tempting not to worry about it.
The problem is that, once you start looking at the supply chains of your customers and suppliers, you’ll soon realise that you are dependent on imports or exports to and from the EU. If they are affected by delays or price hikes, then there will be a knock-on effect on your business.
In a nutshell, we will all be affected!
So, what can you do? Obviously keeping an eye on the government’s official advice is a good first step. But there are other steps you really should be taking between now and the end of October.
What you can do NOW
There are three things you really need to start doing now if you’re serious about planning for your business. They are:
- Look for supply issues: identify suppliers and customers whose supply lines are likely to be disrupted by a no-deal Brexit.
- Consider pricing problems: check which suppliers expect to experience higher costs and charge higher prices. Will your customer demand be affected by higher prices?
- Planning: use the above to create or amend your business plan. It’ll be essential if you need to source additional funding.
In terms of practical issues, we’d also recommend:
- Applying for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. If there’s a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need this for HMRC to clear your goods through customs. Without it, you face delays and extra storage costs. Even if you don’t end up using this number, you can register and apply online for free. Getting your EORI number only takes a few days.
- Apply for grants now. If you rely on EU grants, find replacement UK grants and apply asap. Farmers, not-for-profit organisations and the education sector will be particularly affected – and you don’t want no-deal to turn into no funding.
- Check your passport. If there’s no-deal, you’ll need at least 6 months left on your passport to travel to most EU countries (though not Ireland). If your passport – or those of your family members – are getting near to expiry, get them renewed as soon as possible.
Of course, a no-deal Brexit may not happen. But given the current political uncertainty, it makes sense to protect your business and your livelihood from possible shocks and changes. If you’d like any help in getting ready for leaving the EU, do get in touch – our accountants here at THP are happy to help. We also provide a range of financial and legal services from bookkeeping and accountancy, auditing and business management or company restructures and acquisitions, with offices in Cheam, Chelmsford, Wanstead, Saffron Walden and London City.