Businesses are being urged to ensure they are ready for sweeping changes to how they trade from 1 January 2021, regardless of whether the UK and European Union have a deal.

Corporate lawyer Stephen Wyer is urging small and medium enterprises in the Shropshire to make sure they are up to speed with data protection laws, the tariffs that may apply, and which courts either side of the English Channel have jurisdiction.

The partner at Shropshire law firm mfg Solicitors said change would come whether or not the government’s negotiations with the EU, which have gone down to the wire, result in a deal.

Mr Wyer said: “As well as the economic impact of Brexit – for good or ill – from any potential tariffs or rules on state aid and subsidies, the regulatory changes are likely to be with us for longer.

“Businesses will still be bound by GDPR rules, meaning they must ensure they maintain the security of personal data when doing business across borders.

“British business who want to move goods between the UK and other countries will also need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number – the same as they would need to trade with non-EU countries. Without one, they would face increased costs and delays, including storage fees.”

“The regulatory changes will impact upon share and business sale and purchase agreements, as well as standard terms and conditions of trading,” Mr Wyer added.

“Additionally, from January any business that wants to recruit someone from the EU not already resident in the UK will have to obtain a licence to sponsor them.

“We are helping businesses to be ready by ensuring their documentation is fit for purpose, that it meets the requirements in both jurisdictions, and protects them from additional and avoidable costs.”

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