Choose your Nation to see campaigns near you

Brexit guidance for small businesses

Our Brexit hub is designed to support small businesses and the self-employed understand and prepare for what comes after the end of the transition period later this year.

The UK has now left the European Union and has entered the transition period until December 2020.  

For the duration of the transition period, you will be able to operate in exactly the same way you currently do. The way you trade and hire staff will not change. During the transition period, the UK and EU will begin negotiating a new trade deal and other new arrangements to come into effect after the transition period ends in December 2020.

We will continue to update our hub as these negotiations progress to ensure that we are providing information and guidance to give you an idea of what arrangements you could face after the transition period. We will also continue to signpost you to other practical information to keep you informed and up to date.

Brexit timeline

January 2019

Government loses Meaningful Vote on Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

MPs debate the Prime Minister’s ‘Plan B’ deal, which is then approved following two amendments

February 2019

The government’s Brexit plan suffers defeat in the House of Commons

The Government loses the ‘Meaningful Vote 2’

Parliament vote to extend Article 50

The Commons debates and votes on eight indicative votes, in an attempt to find a Brexit plan that wins the support of the majority of MPs. All options are defeated.

The Government loses the ‘Meaningful Vote 3’

April 2019

Cross party talks begin in an attempt to resolve the Brexit crisis

The UK and EU agree to extend Article 50 until 31 October 2019

May 2019

The UK votes in the European Parliamentary elections

Cross party talks breakdown

Theresa May announces her resignation

July 2019

Boris Johnson wins the Conservative leadership contest and becomes Prime Minister

Government announces new £100 million no-deal Brexit campaign

August 2019

FSB calls for emergency budget to shield small firms from a no-deal Brexit

March 2018

The Prime Minister gives a speech at Mansion House on the UK’s future economic partnership with the European Union

The amended Draft Withdrawal Agreement is published One Year until the planned March 29 Exit Day

June 2018

Government release backstop proposal

July 2018

Government publishes White Paper on future UK-EU relations

August 2018

Small businesses say no to no-deal Brexit

The government publishes the first collection of technical notices providing guidance on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit

November 2018

The Withdrawal Agreement is agreed and published as UK and EU reach agreement

Political Declaration presented to Parliament

January 2017

  • Theresa May gives her Lancaster House speech setting out the Government’s Brexit plan
  • FSB releases new research on the impact of Brexit
  • Government publishes European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

February 2017

Government publishes Brexit White Paper setting out its strategy for the UK’s departure from the EU

March 2017

  • The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act receives Royal Assent
  • Prime Minister triggers Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union
  • FSB releases first of its Brexit reports looking at trade post Brexit
  • Government publishes Great Repeal Bill White Paper

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

  • General Election results in a hung Parliament, with the Conservatives winning the most seats and Theresa May forming a government
  • First round of UK-EU exit negotiations begin.
  • Chancellor gives Mansion House speech on Brexit
  • Queen’s speech given
  • FSB responds to Prime Minister’s state on EU nationals

July 2017

Government introduces the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

September 2017

  • The Prime Minister delivers key Brexit speech in Florence, setting out the UK’s position on moving the Brexit talks forward

October 2017

  • FSB calls for Brexit-ready Autumn Budget

November 2017

Government outlines plans for a Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill

December 2017

UK and EU publish a Joint Report on progress made during Phase 1 of negotiations

June 2016

  • EU Referendum held with the leave vote winning with 51% of the vote
  • David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister
  • FSB sets out agenda for EU negotiations

July 2016

Theresa May confirmed as new Prime Minister

September 2016

Small business confidence enters negative territory for first time in four years

Further resources


#SmallBizTalks: After Brexit what's next?

Listen now

Podcast - Defra

Defra Podcasts on soundcloud - Get Ready for Brexit

Listen now

Prepare for Brexit

Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU with this tool from Gov.UK. Answer 7 simple questions to get guidance relevant to your business. 

Find out more

Prepare for Brexit - Scotland

Businesses in Scotland can benefit from specialist support and advice from the Scottish Government.

Find out more

Prepare for Brexit - Wales

Specific support and advice for businesses in Wales from the Welsh Government including a small business preparedness tool.

Find out more

Preparing for changes at the UK border if there is a no deal EU Exit

These leaflets focus on changes related to border processes. There are other actions you may need to take to be ready for EU Exit. Visit gov.uk/euexit to find more information and to sign up for regular updates

More information for firms who move freight

British International Freight Association (BIFA) Guidance on Exiting the European

The Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFSS) are able to assist small businesses in finding appropriate software to meet their needs for BREXIT or an existing business need. Contact can be made via returning their AFSS - User System Requirements form to [email protected]

Freight Transport Association (FTA) advice in the event of a no deal 

FSB Brexit Research Series

Regulation returned - what small firms want from Brexit
Document Sun, 30 July 2017

Regulation returned - what small firms want from Brexit

FSB Brexit research series

Reformed Business Funding
Document Wed, 31 May 2017

Reformed Business Funding

FSB Brexit research series

A Skilful Exit - what small firms want from Brexit
Document Sun, 30 April 2017

A Skilful Exit - what small firms want from Brexit

FSB Brexit research series

Keep Trade Easy - What small firms want from Brexit
Document Thu, 30 March 2017

Keep Trade Easy - What small firms want from Brexit

FSB Brexit research series

You may also be interested in