It looks as though we will be leaving the EU on the 31st October, with or without a deal. So, if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get your business ready. We take a look at some of the issues you’ll need to consider and, by way of light relief, bring you up-to-date with the latest changes to private residence Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter. As ever, if you need any advice on the topics covered please feel free to contact us.

How to protect your business from Brexit

The simple reality is that no one knows what will happen, especially if we end up leaving the EU without a deal. But there are ways to protect your business from the negative impact of Brexit.

HMRC has issued guidance to businesses that trade between the UK and the EU-27, or with the rest of the world, with advice about how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. They estimate that there are 240,000 UK businesses that trade only with the EU; who will need to comply with customs formalities in the event of no deal.

If your business imports or exports to the EU, these are the steps you should take:

  • Check you have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You will need this to complete export or import documentation. HMRC sent EORI numbers to all VAT registered businesses in August 2019. If you don’t have one, you can register at UK businesses that already have an EORI number from another EU member state (one that does not start GB) can continue using it for now.
  • Decide if you want to hire an agent to make import and/or export declarations, or make them themselves by, for example, buying software that interacts with HMRC’s systems. Contact the organisation that moves their goods to see if they will need to provide any additional information to them.
  • Importers to the UK may be able to use ‘transitional simplified procedures’. They enable customs paperwork to be completed and VAT and duties settled away from the port. But importers will need to register. They may also be able to use other customs procedures that make importing easier.
  • Get ready to comply with any instructions that may be issued by EU-member states that they export into.

In addition, you’d be well advised to:

  1. Build up some cash reserves, so you can weather any ups and downs over the coming months. This could include making claims for R&D tax relief, if applicable, as well as securing lines of credit.
  2. Identify and win new and different customers. If the UK economy goes into recession, attracting international clients is a way to balance risk.
  3. Change the way you work. If you travel regularly to Europe, port and airport delays could become the norm, so take your meetings, training and coaching sessions online. Not only will you save more time, it’s greener too!

To find out more about this article please contact us.