BREXIT BUSINESS CHECKLIST – what changes do you need to make and what are the expected consequences if you don’t?
Your business has enjoyed many years of trade in the UK and across Europe and you don’t want that to be affected by the UK leaving the EU. To continue enjoying that trade you will need to look at your current company arrangements and make some changes.
Don’t delay – delaying could be expensive; sound advice is needed now to protect you and your business!
Now that we have officially left the European Union, necessary changes that UK registered businesses need to make to comply can be implemented. The necessary changes are based on a variety of factors and differ from sector to sector as well as being influenced by specific business dealings with the EU; nationality of staff, data usage and intellectual property protection to name a few.
We have put together, for your convenience, an initial checklist regarding potential changes you may need to make and can advise you, taking the headache away:
- Do any of your employees need a visa or work permit?
- You should ensure that employees who are EU citizens have taken the necessary steps to obtain the right to continue to legally live and work in the UK as they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.
- Your business will now need to sponsor skilled workers who are EU citizens who you intend to employ, in the same way in which all other non-EU citizens had to apply for a work visa.
- It is important to note that when travelling to the EU or EEA for business for more than 90 days in a 180-day period a visa or work permit will probably be necessary. Furthermore, the same will be required for intra-corporate transfers, carrying out services in a country where an employer has no presence or providing services as a self-employed person.
Failure to obtain the necessary visas and work permits could result in an inability to travel or remain in the intended destination, fines and even deportation of the individuals concerned.
- Do you need to have your professional qualification recognised?
As part of the free trade agreement, arrangements will need to be approved by the UK-EU Partnership Council. This mechanism will allow for the recognition of professional qualifications in EU member states and vice versa. Once implemented, you must have your professional qualification officially recognised by the appropriate regulator in the country in which you intend to work, even if you are providing temporary services. Automatic recognition will no longer be given to doctors, nurses, architects, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians or engineers.
Providing services without ensuring your professional qualification is recognised could lead to you being banned from practicing and expose providers to huge liabilities as well as potential criminal prosecution.
- Do you need to change your contract to continue accessing data?
If you receive and transfer personal data to or from organisations in the EU, changes will need to be made to ensure that data can still be transferred uninterrupted. Currently, The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for a transition period of up to six months, following which adequacy decisions will come into effect, specifying necessary changes. In the interim you should ensure organisations who transfer data to you have mechanisms in place so data flow is not disturbed.
Should you not implement the necessary changes, you may be unable to access data which you currently receive and be in breach of regulations as they are implemented.
- Do you intend to continue to provide online services in the EU?
If you run a large UK based online business which provides digital services in the EU, you will need to comply with the NIS Directive which ensures EU information security. You will need to appoint a representative in the EU member state in which you offer the service as well as comply with the law in that state.
If steps are not taken to comply with the necessary requirement, your business will be affected, unable to continue functioning and be liable for any penalties applicable to data breaches in that specific area.
These are just some of the areas changes will need to be made to ensure your business continues to operate legally and efficiently.
For more specific assistance call or email ASV Law Ltd now (+44 (0)20 7993 5450) (in**@as****.com) for us to provide you with advice tailored to your business. As the necessary changes continue to evolve, sound legal guidance is of the utmost importance. Visit our website (www.asvlaw.com) for more information.