At this stage we are all smothering in Brexit analysis, updates and speculation. Below are seventeen ‘prompts’ to help you consider if you need to act or obtain advice on how Brexit might affect your business – it is always wise to plan for the worst whilst we hope for the best.
Qualifications: Ensure that qualifications apply post Brexit (in particular re Financial Services)
Registrations and Approvals: Ensure compliance with customs and trade regulations
Contracts: Ensure that contracts apply beyond Brexit including consideration of the jurisdictional law that would apply on contracts in the event of a dispute arising.
Insurance: Including Professional Indemnity: Ensure that the UK is not excluded due to territory restrictions and ensure that Debtors insurance etc still apply.
Foreign Exchange: Consider a Sterling Hold Account to postpone conversion to euro if so required– this would be particularly relevant if it had sterling outflow as well as inflow.
Pricing: Consider the impact of a weakened sterling on existing contracts and in the pricing of new ones (whilst remaining price competitive)
VAT: Ensure you account for VAT ‘on export’ correctly
Supply chain: Validate that this is still in place and not effected by customs or lack of free movement of people
Funds Flow: You may need to ensure that you have working capital to allow for an extra week or so or funds being tied up in Debtors
Team members: Check that no employees are affected by restriction on movement of people. Employment of UK citizens will require an update to HR policies
Intellectual Property: patents, copywrite, trademarks, registered designs – these could change after Brexit
Stock: Given inevitable delays – ensure that you have sufficient stocks of products sourced in UK.
Import of goods: Import VAT would be charged at the border thereby increasing working capital requirements – this would include, if you are an indirect importer, i.e. if your supplier imports from the UK to supply you. Similarly expect an increase in demand for stock from your customers.
Suppliers: Would be prudent to enquire if suppliers are ‘Brexit ready’ – so as their problems don’t become yours.
Customs: If a client has to deal with customs and its documentation, they will need to learn how to manage same. Does the client need a UK and an EU Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification number? Do you need a customs broker?
Logistics: Consider efficiency of haulage services and any additional insurance issues arising.
UK Office: Depending on size and complexity and cost v benefit issues, establishment of a UK office presence may help mitigate regulatory and customs requirements.
Guest blog by Anthony R Carey, Managing Director at Cooney Carey.
The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to be received as formal professional advice. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, there can be no guarantee that the information is accurate as of the date it is received, or that it will continue to be accurate in the future, due to legislative changes. It is therefore important that before you act upon any information contained herein you seek appropriate professional advice to take account of your exact circumstances.