Many SMEs are unaware that there are some key things they need to do before the end of the year to ensure they can continue to trade from 1st January 2021.
The UK left the EU on Friday 31 January. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.
From 1st January 2021 there are some significant implications for all SMEs, not just those who are involved in importing/exporting or travel, including:
- New customs paperwork and tariffs.
- Changes to data protection and contracts; and
- Visa and travel requirements e.g. when travelling for work.
In addition, businesses that import or export goods, either as sales or in their supply chain, must register for an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number.
Commenting on the forthcoming changes, David Macdonald from The Martlet Partnership said; “Brexit is looming with massive consequences for SMEs. Many SMEs are unaware of some of the changes, partly due to Covid-19 dominating the news. For example, many are unaware that their terms and conditions may no longer be relevant or understand the steps they need to take to ensure they can continue to import and export goods.”
To help SMEs prepare, The Martlet Partnership, with together with UK200 Group, have produced a helpful guide and 15-point action plan (below), which include details of:
- Preparing for Brexit: A Guide for SMEs (including helpful links to tools and further resources); and
- A 15-point Action Plan.
Concluding, David comments; “The economic consequences of Brexit are unclear and depend on many factors. Businesses need to plan ahead, including preparing cashflow forecasts to ensure they know what money they need, when and where they will get it from. SMEs need to act now to ensure there is no disruption to their business.”