The most common questions businesses are asking about Brexit

We’re fielding three common questions about Brexit from concerned businesses in the UK and Europe. But it’s the questions they’re not asking that are most pressing.

A no-deal Brexit is firming up as a real possibility as political wrangling over the UK’s exit from the EU continues. While a comprehensive withdrawal agreement – or even a called-off Brexit – remain the ideal outcomes for business, making the necessary preparations now for a no-deal scenario is the smartest action that companies can take. 

Three-quarters of the business leaders that we surveyed expect Brexit to have an impact on their operations, and our expert teams across Europe have been fielding three common questions from firms.

1. Can I do business from 30 March 2019 with my existing infrastructure? 
The short answer is no, not without some comprehensive preparation work if you’re doing business between Europe and the UK. 

2. What are the business setup timelines, and how quickly can I be operationally ready in a new jurisdiction? 
Another short answer – this depends on the jurisdiction you are choosing to establish in, and your industry. We have seen an increase, for example, in entity establishment activity in five key European jurisdictions. They all have relatively straightforward regulatory requirements for starting a business, and streamlined administrative processes to allow new ventures to become operational quite swiftly.

Meantime the UK might be set to leave the EU, but it’s important to point out that it’s not cursed as a business market. EU companies without an existing presence are getting organised with a UK company, getting it pre-funded and pre-populated with products in anticipation of any difficulty moving goods from 30 March.

3. How hard is it to get the talent that I need to be able to run my business in the jurisdictions I’m looking at? Is there an availability of people?
Once again “it depends” is the quick answer here. Barclays plans to double its headcount in its new operational headquarters of Dublin after Brexit, but may find recruiting local talent difficult for some roles. You may need to factor expat hires into your recruitment plan.

Meantime UK employers are making contingency plans such as covering the ‘settled status’ application fees of EU workers in the hospitality, retail and health sectors, in an effort to prevent a mass exodus of lower-skilled but essential staff.

Conducting an audit of the people in your organisation, at all levels, is key to understanding what their post-Brexit residency status will be.

More urgent matters 
The above three questions are good ones for businesses to be asking. But they’re also very, very basic as we face fewer than 100 days until leave day. Businesses that have been factoring Brexit into their plans for a long time now are asking much more detailed questions, such as:

  • Which of my existing contracts leave my operations exposed to Brexit?
  • Have all of my suppliers made assurances that they have their own Brexit contingency plans in place?
  • Have I addressed all potential UK and EU regulatory issues and checked associated business licenses?
  • Will my staffing service providers be able to deliver what they promise?
  • What will Brexit do to my share price? 

If you haven’t been asking these questions, it’s time to start, and ensure you have a full and robust Brexit contingency plan in place.

Talk to us
When it comes to preparing for Brexit, our expert consultancy solutions team can assess your operations and help you to put the necessary plans in place. Our services are designed to see you continue operating as painlessly as possible, while realising your opportunities to thrive.  Need more information? Get in touch with us today.

Watch our on-demand webinar with Brexit Partners – Brexit Snapshot: how prepared is your competition?

Compliments of TMF Global, a member of the EACCNY