Are Your Business Terms Brexit Ready

Are Your Business Terms Brexit Ready

With Brexit looming, business owners are being urged to review and modify, their T&Cs and contract so they are equipped to face the changes ahead.

Businesses have been playing a guessing game for almost four years in trying to prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union. However, after the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act passed into law last week, at least one thing became a certainty – 31 January 2020 will be the date that the UK formally leaves the EU. Many questions are still unanswered about what will happen next and, far from the world of Westminster, the real-life effects of Brexit on businesses are still clouded with uncertainty.

There has been a lot of press coverage on how frustrated some prominent City institutions feel, due to the difficulty of planning for the unknown changes ahead. This is not just an issue for big business, all businesses will be affected by Brexit and no one can afford to overlook the impact that it could have. Once we enter the “Transition Period” on 31 January, we expect lawmakers to start the huge process of redesigning decades of existing legislation as politicians seek to strike trade deals.

Amidst these shifting sands, we suggest some simple points for any business owner to consider – both before and after 31 January – as the UK’s new relationship with Europe and the wider world takes shape.

Your Overseas Connections: Even if your clients and suppliers are UK-based, your business operations may still be affected by Brexit, for example if there are European connections that lie deeper within your supply chain or if your products or your customers rely on onward sales overseas

The Changes on the Horizon. The changes posed by Brexit are wide-ranging, including:

  • Exchange rates: We have seen fluctuations in the exchange rate in the last few years that could continue to impact on matters like cost of supply or even revenue, if your customers do not pay in sterling.
  • Changes to laws – mind the gap: Some critical areas of business life are currently governed by EU laws, including data protection and financial services. The Government has suggested that after the Transition Period ends in 2021, the UK might not continue to mirror the EU’s rules in all these areas, especially when the EU comes to update any of those laws. This would create a divide between the legal requirements in the UK and the rest of Europe. The extent and effect of this split remains to be seen, so business owners need to stay aware of how these differences could affect the way they conduct their business.
  • Customs tariffs and imports: While tariffs and import rules will not change immediately, as the existing rules are preserved until the Transition Period ends on 31 December 2020, there will be changes to come 2021 and it remains to be seen what shape these will take.

How Blaser Mills can help

While it may seem daunting to try and second-guess how these changes might affect your business, help is at hand. Blaser Mills Law can assist in reviewing your terms of business and strengthening them to enhance your protection against the uncertainties. We can discuss with you the impact that Brexit might have on your production, customers, working practices and revenue and get your business terms “Brexit-ready” for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

For more information on the contents of this article, please contact Rebecca Cooper on 01494 932614 or at rac@blasermills.co.uk