Our Brexit Pledge to small businesses

We can’t promise to make the Brexit waiting game any less painful, but we can pledge to do everything we can to keep supporting British small business through the uncertainties of Brexit and beyond. We’re here to help you seize the opportunities that leaving the EU will bring for small businesses who are ready to pounce on them.

We’ve compiled a Brexit checklist that you can find below, plus there’s a round-up of the best resources to help get your business ready to thrive once we leave the EU. 

Our Brexit Pledge

  1. We pledge to continue lending to British small businesses – we’ve  been focused on our mission to build a better financial world since 2010; we only lend to small businesses.
  2. We won’t keep you guessing – we’ll give you a decision and a personalised quote typically within 24 hours, so you can move on with your business.
  3. We’ll help you plan beyond Brexit – our interest rates are fixed to help you plan your cash-flow with certainty, so you can get back to what you’re good at.
  4. You can change your mind – if you want to pay off your loan early in full, we won’t charge you a fee for full early repayment. You’ll only pay interest on the time you borrow.

Get your business ready for Brexit

Amongst all the uncertainty around Brexit, one thing is certain: leaving the EU will have huge implications for many British businesses. But what steps do you really need to take to make sure your business is ready to fly?

Use our 15 point checklist to make sure your business is prepared, whatever the scenario.

  1. Make sure you have an EORI number. If you trade with the EU you will need an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number post Brexit. If you are a VAT registered or non-VAT registered business that trades goods with the EU and has not already received an EORI number, register for your EORI number here (this also applies to micro-businesses selling via platforms such as Amazon, Etsy or Ebay and using a Fast Parcel Operator.)
  2. Prepare your workforce. 
    • If you employ EU 27 nationals in the UK: Communicate openly and regularly with staff who may be affected if Britain leaves the EU. Ensure any EU staff have registered with the EU Settlement scheme before December 2020. It’s free and will enable them to live and work in the UK beyond June 2021. 
    • If you employ UK nationals overseas, read the guidance for UK nationals living in the EU.
  3. Review your business finances. Create a ‘worst-case scenario’ for cash flow post Brexit and decide whether you need to restructure any debt, or look for a cash injection to support your business over the coming months. At Funding Circle we’re ready to support you if your business needs a cash-flow buffer. If your situation changes and you want to repay your loan early in full, we won’t charge you a fee for full early repayment.
  4. If you already export: read the government’s country by country guides to exporting in the event of a no-deal brexit. 
  5. If you sell UK manufactured goods: This could be a great time to consider starting to export internationally, taking advantage of weak sterling to compete on price. Read this guide to exporting after Brexit and take a look at our beginner’s guide to exporting
  6. If you already import goods into the UK: check this guide to see if you need to make any changes to the way your business currently deals with EU partners, and register for simplified import procedures in the event of no deal.
  7. Evaluate your marketplace. Look for opportunities you may be able to exploit, such as stockpiling UK stock or materials at reduced prices.
  8. Think about your customers, your suppliers and their customers. Don’t forget to review how your suppliers, customers, and their customers may be affected too, and plan for any knock-on effects on your business.
  9. Prepare for taxation changes: If you hold stock in an EU country for trade with the EU, read the HMRC guidelines here. If your business currently uses the UK VAT MOSS Union scheme, read about your options in the event of a no-deal Brexit here.
  10. Get to grips with sector-specific changes. Check this quick sector-by-sector checklist for your specific business area.
  11. Check data protection regulations: If your business has an office, branch, established presence or customers in Europe, you will need to comply with both UK and EU data protection regulations after Brexit, and you may need to designate a representative in the European Economic Area (EEA). Find out what your business needs to do to comply here.
  12. Get your personal finances in order. Don’t forget to review your own personal situation such as pensions and investments; make sure you know if your holdings have any exposure to companies that may be affected by Brexit, and re-balance your risk appetite if necessary.
  13. If you travel to the EU on business: Ensure you have more than 6 months remaining on your passport. You may be able to visit without a visa but should check the government’s business travel advice. If you purchase items in the EU to bring back to the UK, you will be able to reclaim the VAT.
  14. Take advantage of currency fluctuations: if relevant for your business consider using a foreign exchange service to enable you to optimise your forex transactions.
  15. Take the quiz. If you’re unsure how your business may be affected, start by using the free Brexit Planning tool from Enterprise Nation. 

The best Brexit resources for small businesses

Not sure where to start?

If you’re not sure how your business will be affected, answer seven simple questions using the government’s Brexit Planning Tool to help you find out what you need to do to prepare. 

Looking for more detailed Brexit guidance?

For a more detailed action plan, take a look at the British Chambers of Commerce’s Business Brexit Checklist with answers to the most common SME questions and links to relevant government resources and information.

Guidance for a No Deal scenario

The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) have prepared guidance on 11 key areas from importing to data protection and people, in the event of Britain leaving without a deal. Read more here.

In the event of No Deal, the British Chamber of Commerce have prepared a detailed No Deal Guidance Dashboard with answers to common questions.

If you trade or move between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

If you’re a business based in Northern Ireland, check out Invest Northern Ireland’s Brexit Assessment Tool.

Businesses trading between Ireland and Northern Ireland should read the government’s advice on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.