The UK left the European Union in January 2020. Following this, the UK has been in a transition period which ends on 1st January 2021. Read on to see how Brexit will affect your business.

How can my business continue to trade with the EU?

If your business trades with the EU, there will be changes to customs, tariffs and VAT. As negotiations are still ongoing, we don’t yet know what those changes will be. However, you can prepare now by getting a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

Click here to apply for one and continue to trade with the EU. It can take up to a week to get one so do it now to avoid any delays. You don’t need at EORI if you provide services or move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

I already have an EORI, do I need to get a new one?

If you already have an EORI, you just need to check whether it has GB at the start. If it does not then you need to apply to get a new one as it needs to have a ‘GB’ prefix. But you can’t just add a ‘GB’ prefix to an existing EORI, you need to apply for a new one, using the same link above.

How do I apply for an EORI number?

You will need the following to apply for an EORI number:

  • VAT number and registration date;
  • National Insurance Number (if you are a sole trader);
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR);
  • A business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC);
  • Government Gateway user ID and password. You can either use your own Government Gateway account if you’re applying as a sole trader or use your business Government Gateway account if you’re applying on behalf of your business.

Applying takes five minutes.

How do I import goods from or export goods to the EU?

The process to either, import goods from, or export goods to the EU will be changing as of 1st January 2021.

  • To import goods from the EU, check what is required for your individual business here;
  • To export goods to the EU, check what is required for your individual business here.

What key issues should I consider for my business, in relation to Brexit?

There are some key areas in which Brexit will impact businesses and these are as follows:

  1. Supply Chain Disruption – Nobody yet knows exactly how much of a disruption it will be but there is a high chance that there will be extra costs and delays to businesses supply chains;
  2. Customs/Border Tariffs – If your business involved import or export, it’s crucial to get an understanding now, on what kinds of extra costs and delays may be associated with this. Visit GOV.UK to gain access to information relevant to your specific business;
  3. Regulation – There are a tremendous amount of laws, businesses are currently following, which are EU legislation. One example is data protection laws but there are hundreds of others and depending on the nature of your business, any change in these may affect you;
  4. Workforce – There may be changes in the availability of certain specialist job candidates. Also, some employment laws originated from EU legislation and may change;
  5. Economic uncertainty – Nobody really knows what will happen to the economy after Brexit but most experts agree that there will be a period of instability and uncertainty therefore businesses should prepare for this.

What opportunities does Brexit offer my business?

Some types of businesses may benefit from Brexit. A good example is currency trading businesses, which can take advantage of the volatility of the financial markets. Another example is export businesses – especially if the pound goes down.

In conclusion, Brexit will present both challenges and opportunities for businesses. The important thing now is to do thorough research to find out how Brexit will affect your business and to plan accordingly.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team who will be happy to assist you.

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