Brexit checklist 20 questions to ask right now

The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October. A no-deal Brexit will bring change for businesses of every size and sector across the UK. To help prepare, here’s a checklist of questions that every business should be contemplating as the UK’s EU exit draws near...

1. Have we mapped out all of our potential pinch-points of exposure to Brexit? From financing and tax liabilities to regulatory compliance requirements and an EU employee audit?

2. Have we discussed the company’s Brexit plan and risk assessment with the board and shareholders?

3. How long would we need to make adjustments to cross-border operations and activities under a new economic arrangement between the UK and EU?

4. Do all parts of the business have correct EORI numbers (both UK where numbers start with ‘GB’ – and EU EORI)? Have we explored HMRC’s no-deal simplifications (i.e. TSPs) and training grants for customs?

5. What are the cash flow implications of continued volatility in the exchange rate and have we made any plans to mitigate this? This could be through hedging/forward contracts or setting aside enough cash/capital reserves.

6. Have we conducted a review of our supply chain – upstream and downstream – to assess the potential for indirect impacts of Brexit changes and looked at alternative suppliers?

7. Can my business absorb the range of potential cost increases, and/or can we pass any of these on to customers?

8. What discussions have we had with existing customers, clients and suppliers to understand different Brexit scenarios and whether contracts should be reviewed now or in the future? This includes Incoterms, which clarify who is an importer or exporter, and assigns relevant financial responsibilities accordingly.

9. Does my business, or that of any of my clients, benefit from EU funding – directly or indirectly?

10. Has anyone in the company been assigned responsibility for Brexit maintenance/planning? If not, should someone be tasked with this?

11. Have we looked at intermediaries such as freight forwarders, shipping agents and customs brokers to help relieve some of the burden of new transport and customs challenges?

12. Is there a need to look at regulatory/licensing requirements in other EU countries and assess what the most cost-effective place to open up a subsidiary/local branch would be?

13. Have we clarified delivery terms with customers?

14. Have we quantified the cost of goods sitting in EU or UK customs for each extra hour or day?

15. If we are looking to raise finance as part of a medium-term strategy, have we factored Brexit into this?

16. Should we review or revise forecasts and cash flow predictions?

17. Are we using the weaker pound as part of our exports sales marketing strategy?

18. Can we look into existing EU free trade agreements or those currently being negotiated to see if there are preferences for new or existing markets we could make use of to cut entry costs? By the same token, can we review what agreements or trade preferences my business may be already using in case these are not successfully rolled over after Brexit?

19. Have we considered how any intellectual property will continue to be protected in the EU after Brexit? Does the business have any EC trademarks that will need to be converted into UK ones?

20. Do we supply any services or have any training or expertise that we could capitalise on to help other companies with their Brexit planning?

For more information and guidance, visit our Factsheets section where you will find a range of practical advice and resources.

The government’s Get ready for Brexit website also provides a wealth of useful information and guidance.

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