The Government asks businesses “Are you Brexit ready?”

The Government says the UK will leave the EU whether they have a deal in place or not, and bookies’ odds are now slightly favouring a no-deal scenario. Businesses have a lot of work to do, if Brexit does happen without any deal at all. To highlight some areas where preparation is necessary, the Government recently released their “Get Ready For Brexit” checklist. This provides individuals and business owners with a customised list of areas where they need to ensure their business can handle the impact of leaving the EU without a deal.

What should my business do?

If you own a small or medium-sized business, you will need to complete this list. The civil service has worked extremely hard over the last few years to analyse the areas where businesses may be hit hard, and this checklist may highlight things you haven’t thought of. For example, businesses that sell vehicles throughout the UK may do so under a license granted under EU law. That means you’ll need to apply for a temporary UK license. This won’t take long; it will be aligned with EU standards. However, without it, you won’t be able to distribute vehicles in the UK.

Will I be affected if i don’t deal with the European Union?

The UK’s legal system is closely intertwined with the EU’s. That means that even in areas where you might not anticipate a problem, it’s possible that one might arise. The check only takes a few minutes to conduct, and it’s well worth your time. For example, you’ll need at least 6 months on your passport in order to travel in Europe – you don’t want to be caught out with a passport that’s unusable.

Will this cost my business money?

Preparing for a no-deal Brexit will look very different for different businesses. A company dealing in data across Europe will be drastically affected, while a UK-based wholesaler might not. Your best course of action as a small or medium business owner is to thoroughly understand what the risks are. Speak to your staff and employees, as well. Nobody quite knows what to expect, but if you can show that you’re taking preparations seriously, they’ll at least have confidence in you. While we don’t yet know what’s going to happen, it’s wise to do as the Government suggests and check you’re ready for the unexpected.