Whilst we’re still waiting for further clarity around what Brexit will mean for SMEs, if you do business outside of the UK there are a few fundamental things you should start to look at…
There is a transition period up to the end of December 2020 so for the moment we’d recommend starting to prepare where possible, keep an eye on developments and just keep calm and carry on.
- Contracts: Review your current key agreements to assess whether there are important terms that may impact you adversely (or maybe beneficially) due to Brexit. e.g. does the contract refer to an EU wide territory and will it matter that the UK is no-longer included as part of that territory? Examples include non-compete clauses, agency/distribution/reseller agreements, IP, licensing, rights, indemnities, etc.
- Trade Marks: Do you need to file separate EU and/or UK trade marks? Check out our updated blog on this: Protecting your brand post Brexit
- EU Representative: Do you provide services or products or monitor people in the rest of the EU but don’t have any offices there? If yes, you may need to appoint an EU representative for data protection purposes.
- Marketing: Are you using the UK as a base to send marketing emails to the EU? If yes, that will likely need to change. See our B2B email marketing blog.
- GDPR: There will be other GDPR implications and certain templates like DPAs may need adapting post transition period.
- People: Do you have any non-UK residents working for you? If so, there will Iikely be visa implications as well as impact on movement of staff.
And, if you import/export goods from the EU you may also want to consider the following:
- If your supply chain / manufacturer is outside the UK do you have plans for new border controls that may be implemented? Consider the impact of hold ups at the border on perishable stock and delivery timescales.
- Do your agents/ handlers etc have correct additional paperwork required post Brexit?
- Do you need to consider an AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) status?
- AEO status indicates that a businesses involvement in the international supply chain is secure and that its customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. AEO status granted by one member state is recognized by the customs authorities of all EU member states. It brings a wide range of benefits including simplified declaration and clearance procedures, the possibility of having consignments fast tracked through customs controls, priority if selected for inspection and mutual recognition of the AEO status by various countries.
- Depending on the Brexit deal you may need to be prepared for a different tax regime, VAT, customs duties, tariffs, etc. and ensure your finance software, people and processes can deal with the changes.
As always if you want to discuss the above in more detail drop us an email today.