Practical steps to help your business prepare for Brexit

As we get closer towards the end of the year, the next challenge for business owners arrives in the form of Brexit.

As business owners, we are resilient and used to change. However, when we don’t know quite what the change will be, it does of course make it somewhat tricky. With the EU/UK talks being further stalled thanks to Covid cases in the negotiation teams, we thought it would be a good idea to help you look at what practical steps you can take now, if you haven’t already. It’s not too late to take action, so please do!

Importing and exporting

Where rules are changing on importing and exporting, there will be additional burden on business in terms of paperwork and compliance. Dorset Chamber is inviting businesses to an excellent series of webinars in respect of helping businesses prepare for the changes which may – or may not – come up.

The Chamber is working with organisations like Chamber Customs (which has links to HMRC and also freight forwarding companies), to help businesses meet this challenge. On the recent webinar, it was urging businesses to align themselves with an agent to help with this challenge. If you haven’t already, ensure you are speaking with your import/export agent/logistics partner to see how they are gearing up to meet this challenge.

Alternatively, Dorset Chamber’s international trade resource page is a great place to start.

Do I need temporary funding?

It’s also advisable to be looking at your cash flow. What would happen if your products are delayed en route to the UK or on the way to customers as part of an export process? What if parts are delayed coming to you, so that finished products cannot be sent to customers?

If you feel this is going to be an issue, we would strongly recommend you are talking with your bank manager, so that they can understand the issues you are facing ahead of time. This often makes them more understanding and receptive to discussions in the future around any temporary finance you may need to fill any unexpected gaps. If you need help with assessing the impact of this, please do get in touch with us.

Do I need a trading presence overseas?

It’s certainly worth reviewing whether it’s possible to review the route your goods take to customers.

If moving your goods in to the UK for them to be subsequently exported to an EU country is your current way of working, is it possible to establish any form of trading entity in the EU to handle operations from there?  This could also assist with less red-tape when you are looking to sell to European countries and also will possibly be looked on more favourably by potential customers, who may wish to deal with a local, in-country supplier.

We work closely with a network of advisors across Europe and worldwide, who are best-placed to give advice and support to UK businesses in setting up overseas.  If you have concerns or questions, then please do get in touch and we can recommend the best people for you to speak to.

How can I learn more?

The next Dorset Chamber webinar is being run on 1 December and more details can be found here.

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