The 29 March deadline for Brexit is fast approaching. Which direction Brexit will take – a withdrawal agreement or no deal? No one really knows. Regardless of this uncertainty, there are actions you can take now to get your business ready for Brexit.
1. Start preparing now
With just under two months remaining, you need to start preparing for Brexit now. Dedicate some of your diary time to this task.
2. Assess the risk Brexit may pose
At present the two most likely Brexit scenarios are:
- a negotiated agreement, with businesses continuing as normal during the transition period;
- a no-deal scenario, in which the current existing trade rules and processes surrounding EU imports/exports cease to apply after 29 March.
Examine how each of the above two scenarios could impact on your business. Will your suppliers, customers and service providers be able to deliver on their promises to you? Will you be able to fulfil your obligations to them?
3. Ensure adequate cash flow for VAT and additional inventory
Intra-EU trade is currently exempt from VAT payments. The government aims to keep VAT processes as close as possible to what they are now, however Brexit may compound cash flow problems for companies that need to hold additional inventory as insurance against potential delays at borders. Even if you don’t do business in Europe, your suppliers and customers who do might be adversely affected by any changes to the existing EU trade rules.
4. Monitor Brexit information sources
The BBC has published a handy “All you need to know” Brexit guide. Don’t rely solely on news media, however. The UK government, the British Chambers of Commerce, and some larger UK businesses have made Brexit resources available on their websites. If you’re using accounting software you may be able to access advice and support on Brexit from your software provider. If you’re a member of any trade associations you might also wish to access their Brexit publications. Check these information sources regularly for updates.
5. Look for the business opportunities post Brexit
Brexit is likely to mean some changes for everyone, which may create new needs and requirements among your customers. Could your business provide them?
The UK is currently set to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, deal or no deal. Uncertainty is no excuse for indecision. You need to get your business ready for Brexit now.
© 2018 Paul J Lockey