Negotiations by the British government for a trade deal with the EU have finally finished, but UK companies that need to trade goods and services with the EU are still worried that their businesses will be adversely affected.

Not only is the fishing industry concerned that their income is likely to be severely impacted but all sorts of businesses – from food producers to clothes retailers to software companies – are bracing for the fallout.  However, there is a possible solution for UK businesses who still need to trade with the EU without all the Brexit hassle: opening a company in neighbouring countries such as France and Ireland.

The move to an EU member state could help UK companies navigate VAT payments, customs paperwork, employees and tariffs from a safer standpoint if they can claim to have a presence in an EU country. Many large businesses, especially banks, are now shifting their headquarters abroad in order to avoid the likelihood of red tape generated by Brexit and the uncertainty of how the new system will work.

Freight companies are already experiencing difficulties on the roads after only a few try-outs of the new customs checking systems so it’s likely that there will be more than a few teething problems over the coming year.

The UK’s closest EU neighbours are France and Ireland and both have the ability to help out British entrepreneurs during this tricky time. There are free downloadable guides at the end of this article on what each company can offer different businesses, including which parts of the country cater to particular industries or trades. And you can also click on these comprehensive articles such as the newly updated posts Start A Business In France in 8 Steps and Start A Business In Ireland In 8 Steps. These will take you through every element of what needs to happen - including paperwork, bank accounts and legal documents - in order to register a business in these EU countries. If you'd like the option of just opening a branch to sit alongside your UK company, you can find out all the details on how to do that in this article How to open a branch of your business in France the easy way or if you want to look further afield to other EU countries, just take a look at this article The best country to start a business in Europe to help you make your decision.

In terms of VAT payments, there is the updated article How will Brexit affect your business VAT payments? and for those who are in the freight and customs business, there’s information on the new customs system after the Brexit transition in this post The EORI number explained: what it is and why you need it to trade

For more information on any of these, or for more details on how to open a company in the EU, including how to open a business bank account, how to deal with VAT in an EU country or how to find an English-speaking chartered accountant, download our guides below or call 0044 (0) 203 445 0916 (UK) or 0033 (0) 1 53 57 49 10 (France) or email us via the contact page.

Download our free guide on opening a business in France

Learn the ins and outs of company formation in one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious markets

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Download our free guide on opening a business in Ireland

Learn the ins and outs of company formation in one of the world's premier business destinations

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