Business owners & Brexit – Do your research if exporting is part of your plan

By Anita Jaynes on March 03, 2018

Haines Watts Swindon discusses Brexit and exporting

Many UK businesses have been quick to recognise and consider possible new export opportunities offered by Brexit.

It’s clear that forward thinking business owners see potential in growing off the back of a looming Brexit and a weak pound. Now that UK exports are suddenly more competitive on price, overseas buyers are keen to get hold of high quality British goods. However successfully selling in a new market does require careful research to avoid costly mistakes or misunderstanding.

Here are five things to consider around exporting to a new country:

1. Do your homework – contact the Department for International Trade or a local organisation such as a chamber of commerce to find out more about your area of interest. Demand for your product will vary from country to country. You must also understand  cultural sensitivities and expectations. Careful, detailed  research is needed.

2. Don’t overstretch yourself – start small, perhaps by starting digitally. Then get a reliable local workforce and build a sustainable infrastructure. One tip might be to translate your existing website into the target country’s language and accept payment in local currency. This ‘invest to test’ approach is relatively low cost and risk at first before committing to employing staff locally or setting up an overseas branch or limited company.

3. Find a reliable logistics partner – if you sell a product and goods arrive broken or damaged your reputation will be tarnished before you’ve started.

4. Don’t cut corners – poor quality or service, even if sold cheaply, is not sustainable.

5. Understand the tax and legal implications of trading overseas. Legal structure, local tax rules, and VAT are just a few of the things that will need considering both in the UK and abroad.

Mike Lloyd, managing partner at Haines Watts Swindon, said:“There are opportunities around exporting now which are more attractive than in the past. However they do need to be carefully considered. Business owners often take risks – that’s part of being an entrepreneur.  Careful research coupled with support from your financial and legal partners could save a lot of headaches and put you in the best position to build a strong and sustainable new export market.”

Haines Watts Swindon is a firm of chartered accountants and business advisors based in Old Town, Swindon. They offer a variety of accountancy and tax planning services to owner-managed businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations across the south west. Visit them online: www.haineswatts-swindon.co.uk or call: 01793 533838

Pictured above: Mike Lloyd, managing partner at Haines Watts Swindon

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