Business Secretary urges SMEs to prepare for the end of the transition period –

Businesses need to take action now to prepare for the UK’s new start on 1 January 2021, says Business Secretary Alok Sharma in a letter to over 600,000 firms across the UK.

  • With just 81 days to go until the end of the transition period, Business Secretary calls on companies to take action now to prepare
  • Government to host range of webinars to help businesses get ready for the UK’s new start
  • Sector-specific webinars will cover areas such as visas, work permits, and tariffs

In his letter, the Business Secretary calls on businesses to familiarise themselves with the actions they will need to take, by visiting and using the checker tool. When the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, there will be a guaranteed set of changes and opportunities for which businesses need to prepare as the UK leaves the customs union and single market, including changes to the way businesses import and export goods, the process for hiring people from the EU, and the way businesses provide services in EU markets. The vast majority of these actions will need to be completed regardless of the outcome of our negotiations with the EU. These include ensuring staff register for residency rights and preparing for customs procedures when trading with the EU.

To make sure businesses are prepared, the government will also host a series of sector-specific webinars throughout October to remind them of the changes they will need to make.

“With just 81 days until the end of the transition period, businesses must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK’s new start come January. There will be no extension to the transition period, so there is no time to waste,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma said. “I urge all businesses across the country to check to see what action they need to take, sign up for updates, or attend one of our sector-specific webinars. Businesses have a crucial role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, and we will be there to support them through this change every step of the way.” Businesses can sign up for the most recent updates here. A range of webinars for have been arranged by the Business Department for businesses to attend online. The first of these is on Tuesday 13 October, focusing on services and investment. The launch of the webinars follows extensive Government engagement with businesses in recent months, including roundtables led by the Business Secretary and BEIS ministers with business leaders and representative organisations. These roundtables have focussed on the next steps for business as the UK prepares for our new relationship with the EU. The webinars cover general areas that businesses of any shape and size will need to understand and act on, such as visas, work permits, and tariffs – as well as sector specific information. Business sectors being covered by these webinars are:

  • Services and Investment       13 October
  • Retail                                     14 October
  • Automotive                            14 October
  • Metals and Materials             20 October
  • Electronics and machinery    21 October
  • Consumer Goods                  22 October
  • Life Sciences                         27 October
  • Construction                          28 October
  • Aerospace                             29 October

Watch this space for highlights of some of these webinars, if you miss them live over the coming weeks.

About Post Author

Praseeda Nair


Praseeda is the editorial director of Real Business and Business Advice, two London-headquartered content brands that focus on ambitious fast-growth startups and scale-ups in the UK and beyond. As a global nomad, Praseeda’s journalism career spans Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and London, where she has written across national broadsheets, lifestyle, trade, and business magazines before working with the UN Development Programme on industry benchmark reports. In her current role, Praseeda has her finger on the pulse of the European startup ecosystem, and frequently profiles inspirational business owners, visionary serial entrepreneurs, and experts in growth finance. She is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership and social entrepreneurship, and is on the diversity committee of the revolutionary Founders4Schools programme, connecting inspirational women in STEM with schools across the UK.

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