Life outside the EU – A checklist of commercial considerations

To what extent does your company depend on goods, components, labour or services from within, or anywhere outside of, the EU/EEA? The uncertainty caused by Brexit may continue for some time.  Is your business able to cope with lower consumer and supplier confidence?

Use our checklist below to help ensure you're ready.

Supply chain and trade

  • Is your supply chain a just-in-time model, or would you be able to cope with any border delays?
  • Check whether you have, or need, an EORI number.
  • How key to your business are the EU27 markets for selling your goods /services?
  • Will Brexit affect your location decisions?
  • Have you considered whether your suppliers (or the suppliers to your suppliers) will be able to meet their obligations after Brexit?
  • Do you need to /are you able to stockpile any materials?
  • If you do need to stockpile, is there likely to be sufficient available warehousing available?

Contracts

  • Consider whether your key customer contracts will still be fulfilled, on-time and without additional cost.
  • Consider whether it is possible to renegotiate key contracts, e.g. inserting risk minimising clauses.

Regulation

  • The UK’s departure from the EU could have wide-ranging impacts on regulatory compliance, such as product markings and importing /exporting procedures.  Consider if a regulatory audit is needed.

Tariffs

  • New tariffs may apply after Brexit (even on goods which are moving between a non-EU country such as China and the UK). Is your business prepared for this?
  • New quotas may also apply after Brexit; is this likely to be problematic for your business?

People

  • How reliant is your workforce on EU /EEA labour?
  • How necessary is it to your business for your workforce to be able to move across national borders (whether temporarily or permanently?)
  • Have you considered the additional financial and administrative burdens of attracting and retaining talent?
  • Have you considered how you, as a business, can help to maintain good morale among your workforce?

Financials

  • Will your business be able to cope with sudden fluctuations in currency values? (e.g. purchases in US Dollars?)
  • Have you approached your banks and lined them up to assist with any cash-flow issues?
  • Will volatility in the financial markets impact your capital raising /borrowing plans?
  • Does your business rely on foreign direct investment for growth?
  • Do you receive any UK /EU public funding?

Intellectual Property

  • Are your intellectual property rights registered in jurisdictions which are appropriate for your business after Brexit? (e.g. registered in the UK? Registered in the EU?)
  • Do any applications to register any intellectual property rights need to be made before Brexit?
  • Read our Q&A article here.

IT and Data

  • How are your data processes set up? Does data flow into or out of the UK?  If so, to where does data flow?
  • Where are your data centres /servers located?
  • Do you subcontract any IT processes and/or data processing?
  • Will you be able to comply with any changes in data protection legal requirements?

Taxes

  • Are you prepared for potential divergences between the UK and EU tax regimes?

This checklist is not exhaustive and there may be specific further points which are relevant for your business; please contact us for further assistance: brexit@footanstey.com