If you own a business, should you be worried?
It’s happened, whether you were pro or anti Brexit, the ramifications of Britain’s plan to leave the European Union are already being felt. The market has reacted instantly, with shares continuing to fluctuate and companies warning of an uncertain future ahead. This blend of ingredients has led to a drop in consumer confidence with many businesses not knowing what the future impact will be.
It is therefore critical that business owners make the right choices going forward. Rushing through decisions and taking a reactionary approach to Brexit is risky. In order to survive, careful steps must be taken to ensure that businesses are armed for the future ahead.
What areas of your business will be affected?
Depending on the size of your organisation, it is worth establishing a team who are responsible for assessing Brexit’s impact. This will allow you to identify key risk areas and put a plan of action into place. Although every business will vary, key areas that will apply to all businesses are likely to include the following:
A large proportion of employment law derives from the EU, including discrimination rights, holiday entitlement and annual leave. Post-Brexit, it is possible that some of these areas of law could be varied or repealed. It remains unclear what approach any future government will take, but it is not one to be ignored by businesses. Employment documentation and employee policies may need updating to bring them in-line with future changes. Employment law is a fast-moving area and Brexit will only add to this.
Lenders and borrowers may be less willing to lend post-Brexit. Businesses that are reliant on loans may find that access to finance becomes harder and borrowing costs rise. Where this is the case, businesses may consider renegotiating their finance arrangements. For a business that is reliant on borrowing for its day-to-day operations, there is certainly an uncertain future ahead.
- It is also expected that currency fluctuations will continue. Both Sterling and the Euro are predicted to remain volatile while the market lets the impact of Brexit sink in. This presents a challenge for businesseses who hold foreign currency and those that are reliant on the price of raw materials purchased from the EU.
Key contractual documentation such as franchise agreements and distribution agreements must not be overlooked. Such contracts often contain detailed references to the EU and EU legislation. In order to eliminate risk, businesses will need to carefully review the terms of any key contracts that they have and whether EU related provisions need updating.
The EU has been one of the pioneers in introducing laws to combat climate change. For example, laws governing the packaging, labelling and recycling of products may be subject to change. Post-Brexit, it is likely that the UK will continue to prioritise the environment, but may introduce or cut back on legislation that derives from the EU. Going forward, businesses will need to carefully consider any changes to environmental legislation and how this can be complied with going forward.
How can Setfords Solicitors help ?
Setfords is aware of the challenges and concerns that businesses face going forward, both logistically and financially.
We have taken time to consider the impact that Brexit will have and we are here to guide you through any uncertainty that you may face, at a price that makes sense in an unstable market. With our assistance, we can help you identify areas of your business that are at risk and provide you with the support that you need going forward.
Our unique way of working means we can offer clients the legal advice they need at a highly competitive fee in comparison to other firms. As well as a team of full-time lawyers based in our Guildford head office, we have over 160 consultant lawyers based across the country. Our unique way of working means our operating costs are lower, and that means lower costs for our clients. It also allows our lawyers to provide businesses with a more personal and dedicated service.
In particular our lawyers can assist you with:
- All aspects of employment law that are expected to see change post-Brexit;
- Providing advice in respect of how new trade agreements can influence your contractual relationship with customers and suppliers;
- Working with finance providers to assist you in post-Brexit financing agreements;
- Reviewing, redrafting and reporting on your general contractual exposure and how the EU has impacted on any commercial contracts that you may have;
- Advising you on key pieces of legislation that may impact the products or services that you supply.
CEO, Setfords Solicitors
If you want more information on what your business should do post-Brexit, and want to speak to one of our lawyers, then please contact us on 0845 450 6135 or complete the form here.