What does Brexit mean for UK startups?

The UK has voted to leave the European Union, and with the significant effects its likely to have on the economy and politics, you might also be worried about the effect on your startup. Here are the things you need to know today.

Brexit won’t be an overnight process – it will take at least  two years to exit the EU after government triggers the start of the process. There’s likely to be a lot of volatility in the market and politically, but many things related to the EU will remain the same for now.


What’s changed already?

At the time of writing, the pound has sharply dropped, which could mean uncertainty with consumers and an impact on your profits. If you sell to EU countries (and outside the EU)  this could be more pronounced, due to the current weakness of sterling.


Are we still a member of the EU?

Yes – we will be until two years after the government triggers termination, via article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. At the time of writing, the process to start Brexit hasn’t happened yet.


Do we still have to charge VAT?

Yes – VAT is a Europe-wide tax, and you’ll still be required to comply with EU and UK VAT obligations as usual.


What about EU laws – do we still obey them?

Again, the answer is yes. We’re still bound by any EU legislation that affects us until we formally leave the EU.


What does it mean for investment in my business?

If you’re on enterprise investment schemes such as the SEIS and EIS schemes, don’t worry. They’re still in place and likely to remain safe, as they’re schemes supported by the UK government... More than ever, investment into UK startups needs to be encouraged.


Is my EU trademark still valid?

Don’t worry – your trademark is still valid and enforceable. It’s really unlikely that this will be affected even post-Brexit.


What about duties, and other fees related to selling to countries in the EU?

Right now, things continue as normal. However post-Brexit it will all depend on the terms negotiated by the government.


What about my visa/right to be in the UK, or that of my employees?

Everything should remain the same for now, unless changes are announced by the government, and for EU nationals the free movement of people will still apply until Brexit


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