Brexit advice for businesses


This page was last updated on 27/11/19

Brexit news continues to dominate the headlines and will continue to do so as we get ever closer to the date of the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). But what will a deal or no deal Brexit mean for businesses?

At the Berkshire Growth Hub, we want to help Berkshire businesses understand what the EU withdrawal will mean to them and keep business owners updated with the latest information, advice and support available.

The government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome (where the UK leaves the EU without agreement).

Preparing for EU exit

The government has set-up a central website to provide information and guidance for businesses to prepare for the EU exit. Click here to visit the website. It includes important information on everything from importing and exporting to employing EU citizens, product standards and regulations, intellectual property and personal data.

Online tool to help your business prepare for the UK leaving the EU

The government has developed a useful tool to provide businesses with relevant information to help them prepare for the UK leaving the EU. Click here to access the tool.

Business Brexit Helpline

A national Business Brexit Helpline has been set-up to help businesses prepare. 

Tel: 0300 2000 900 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

Call the helpline to find out about:

  • where to find information and guidance on what your business needs to do to prepare for Brexit
  • other government helplines that are available to support your business to prepare for Brexit

You can also contact the Brexit imports and exports helpline for information about importing and exporting goods after Brexit and the EU Settlement Resolution Centre helpline if you need help or information about the EU Settlement Scheme.

Other important information and resources:

Brexit checklist for businesses

The British Chambers of Commerce has created a Business Brexit checklist to help businesses consider and plan for the changes that Brexit may bring to their organisation. The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce has also created an online toolkit with useful information and resources.

CBI Report

CBI have produced a comprehensive document ‘What Comes Next’, which analyses No Deal and produces a series of recommendations to help businesses determine where they may be impacted and what actions they may need to take in preparation. View report here.

Department for International Trade (DIT)

For guidance and information regarding exporting and importing, businesses can call the DIT South East enquiry line on 0330 300 012, submit an EU exit enquiry form, email or visit this website

DIT have also created three informative videos to answer queries on tariffs. There are videos on:

Trade agreements: DIT have provided documents relating to the new trade arrangements the UK has signed or is discussing, to replace the current EU agreements if there’s a no-deal Brexit: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries in a no-deal Brexit

Countries with no trade agreement with UK: If there is no trade agreement between the UK and another country after Brexit, you will have to trade with that country under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Here is an overview to Trading under WTO rules. In addition, you should check the specific country pages on the DIT website. 
Trading with Central America: DIT have provided documents relating to the UK-Central America association agreement: UK-Central America association agreement

Bidding for overseas contracts: The Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) allows UK businesses to bid for government contracts in other countries, and foreign businesses to bid for contracts in the UK. At present, the UK is signed up to the GPA through EU membership, but the UK expects to join the GPA on substantially the same terms. Bidding for overseas contracts: what to expect if there’s a no-deal Brexit

UK/EU Border: Importing and Exporting

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published a series of short videos and leaflets to help businesses prepare for changes at the UK/EU border in a ‘no deal’ scenario. The videos are all available here.

HMRC issues EORI numbers: Every business will need an EORI number to move goods into or out of the EU after Brexit. HMRC has sent letters to all possible VAT-registered businesses to advise them of their assigned UK EORI number. If your business is not VAT-registered, you still need to register for an EORI number here.

Getting an EORI number is only the first step that businesses need to action urgently to be prepared for leaving the EU. After getting an EORI number, businesses need to decide how to make customs declarations. Traders can complete these themselves or employ a customs agent to do this. Letters on no deal Brexit advice for businesses trading with the EU

HMRC have also provided guidance if you’ve chosen to account for import VAT on your VAT Return in a no-deal Brexit: Complete your VAT Return to account for import VAT in a no-deal Brexit and the following guidance:

Ireland: HMRC have produced guidance on how to export excise goods from Northern Ireland to Ireland in a no-deal Brexit. Moving excise goods from Northern Ireland to Ireland in a no-deal Brexit

Helpline for traders and hauliers trading goods with the EU: The government has set-up a dedicated telephone service for traders and hauliers trading goods with the EU. The helpline will provide up-to-date signposting and guidance to help businesses prepare for Brexit. The helpline is not designed to answer technical questions, but will instead transfer or signpost traders to the relevant Department and information. You can call the helpline on 0300 3301 331. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

EU Settlement Scheme employer toolkit

If EU citizens want to stay in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, they and their close family members will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. An EU settlement Scheme toolkit has been created and updated, which contains tools and information with which employers can support EU citizen employees and their families on the EU Settlement Scheme. There is also information on Benefits and pensions for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK if there’s a no-deal Brexit and EU Settlement Scheme: community support for vulnerable citizens.

Small Business Brexit Pack

The Federation of Small Businesses has published a Brexit pack on their website, which includes resources and podcasts. 

HMRC Partnership Pack

This HMRC Partnership pack has been created to assist businesses and those providing business advice and support to prepare for EU Exit. It includes information on customs, excise, VAT and regulatory changes.

Guidance for the Agriculture & Food Industry

Some advice for agricultural and food-based businesses on the implications of no deal being agreed with the EU, can be found here.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency have provided a list of organisations that inspect and certify animals and animal products for export: Find a professional to certify export health certificates 

The Food Standards Agency

The FSA has published guidance on health and identification marks, importing high-risk food and animal feed and GM food or feed or animal feed additives. For more information, click here

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

DEFRA recently published guidance on several key areas affecting businesses. Please follow these links for support on: food labelling, exporting and importing fish, transporting endangered species, working with chemicals, pesticides, importing and exporting plants, trading timber, managing data and Protecting food and drink names if there’s no Brexit deal

Details on finding an approved UK border inspection post (BIP) to check the animals or animal products in a consignment can be found here: UK border inspection posts and contact details

DEFRA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency have created IPAFFS as the UK’s new notification system for importing animals and animal products: Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

The following sector guidance is also available:

Medicines & Healthcare

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have provided information on the ‘Written Confirmation’ process for: Exporting active substance manufactured in the UK in a no-deal Brexit

The Department for Health and Social Care have also produced guidance for: 

Data Protection Guidance

Although the UK’s own data protection standards would remain the same (the GDPR will come into domestic law), there would be changes to how personal data is transferred from the EU/EEA to the UK. If your business or organisation receives personal data from partners or suppliers in EU or EEA countries you must act now to ensure you can still legally do so after Brexit. Personal data is any information that can be used to identify someone, this could include a customer’s name, physical or IP addresses, or HR data such as staff working hours and payroll details. To continue receiving personal data legally after Brexit, review your supplier contracts and read this guidance: using-personal-data-after-brexit

The government and the ICO have produced the following guidance on data protection:

Accounting, Reporting & Auditing Compliance

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have published how companies can comply with UK accounting and reporting requirements after the UK leaves the EU: Accounting if there’s no Brexit deal and what audit firms, auditors, and those with an audit qualification should do to prepare before the UK leaves the EU: Auditing if there’s no Brexit deal and Accounting for EEA organisations after Brexit

Professional & Business Services

BEIS have provided advice for businesses on consumer rights if there’s a no-deal Brexit: Consumer rights and business: changes after Brexit

Ministry of Justice have provided the following guidance for the legal sector: 

HM Treasury have provided information about financial services such as banking and insurance for UK residents, businesses based in the UK, EEA residents, and financial services institutions: Banking, insurance and other financial services if there’s no Brexit deal

Construction Products Regulation (CPR) No Deal Guidance

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EU CPR will be retained in domestic law by the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The government has made legislation that ensures that the UK-based CPR system will continue to operate after exit day. This legislation can be found here. For further information, read Construction Products Regulation guidance if there is no Brexit deal


HMRC have provided guidance to help you find out what grants you can apply for to get funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations. You can now apply for funding towards hiring new staff to help your business complete customs declarations

EU funding

BEIS together with UK Research and Innovation have published guidance on how Horizon 2020 funding will be affected if there’s a no-deal Brexit: Horizon 2020 funding after Brexit.

BEIS have provided details on how current and future European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal: EU contingency proposals for ETC funding.

Department for Transport

Department for Transport have updated what bus, coach, truck and lorry drivers as well as tour operators from the UK may need to do to drive in the EU and EEA if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019:

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)     

DCMS have issued new guidance on what to expect on day one of a ‘no deal’ scenario if you’re a creative business, small arts organisation or sports organisation that currently travels only to the EU.

DCMS have produced a number of checklist for businesses in various sectors to help prepare them for a No-Deal Brexit:

Sector specific information on EU Exit

The government has produced the following sector specific guidance:


Latest news:

Visit our News section for the latest announcements regarding Brexit, which includes an update on EU exit preparations by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Local events and webinars 

A series of Preparing for the Future roadshows is being held across Berkshire in late 2019 and early 2020 to support businesses on a variety of changes, including Brexit. Look out for new dates as they are confirmed.

Information on any forthcoming conferences, clinics and webinars regarding Brexit can be found in our Brexit Events section

You can also check out our Events section for details of business support events on a range of issues, from marketing and export to HR and finance.

Provide your feedback to the government:

The Berkshire Growth Hub and Thames Valley Berkshire LEP have been asked by government to gather intelligence on the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU. We need your help in completing an online survey. 

Click here to complete the short survey and provide your views on the readiness and resilience of your business.


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