Things you need to know about Brexit as an entrepreneur

3 min read
Will Stevens

Brexit has already happened, and the transition period comes to an end on 1.1.21. You may need to make changes to your business to prepare for the changes that are coming at the start of next year.

This guide gives a brief overview of the most important areas that are likely to affect you. We’ve also included links to government resources where you can learn more about the changes.

We also recommend that you regularly check the government’s Brexit transition website to keep up with any new developments.

1 Custom declarations and tariffs

If you import or export from any EU country to Great Britain, you’ll need to make customs declarations for these goods from 1.1.21. You’ll also need to pay relevant tariffs on these goods. You can find a tariff checker here. You may want to appoint someone to deal with customs on your behalf. You can learn how to make your own customs declarations here.

You will also need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number to move goods into or out of the EU from 1.1.21. You can register for an EORI number here.

If you move goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, you’ll need to ensure you follow the new processes for doing this. The government recommends that businesses moving good between Northern Ireland and Great Britain sign up for the Trader Support Service.

2 VAT rates

If you’re bringing in goods from the EU to Great Britain, you’ll need to find out the rate of VAT that applies. This also applies to services supplied from the EU, with some exceptions.

VAT will not apply to most exports.

You can read the full government guidance on preparing to export goods from Great Britain to the EU from 1.1.21 here.

This guide covers importing good from the EU to Great Britain.

3 Business travel

If you travel to the EU for work purposes, you may need to obtain a visa or work permit from 1.1.21.

This government guide explains more about the requirements for business travel to the EU.

4 Data protection changes

If your business gathers personal data from people in the European Economic Area (EEA), you may need to take steps to ensure that your collection of this information remains lawful.

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person and includes things like names, addresses and even IP addresses.

You should look at introducing Standard Structural Clauses with your EEA counterparts in order to ensure you can still gather data.

This government guide explains more about how collection of personal data from the EEA will change from 1.1.21.

5 How to conduct a Brexit impact assessment for your business

We’ve touched on some of the most significant ways life will change for businesses who trade with the EU, but there are many more things to consider.

If you want to identify areas where you’ll need to make changes, you can answer the questions here and the government will explain how you and your business will be impacted from 1.1.21.

Also make sure you keep track of any new developments by checking the government’s Brexit transition website.