Brexit will affect every international business currently located in Europe. Especially US corporations tend to open their subsidiary in England. It appears to be much easier, as the language seems to be quite similar.
Please see our separate blog post on British English vs. American English. With said language similarities, assumes cultural similarities and completely ignoring that England is an island, they start their new European headquarter in Great Britain. Not even knowing why England sometimes is called Great Britain or United Kingdom.
Just like starting a new business venture, these details are important to research and know about before making a decision to finalize on a business location for years to come. The political situation might not be as interesting in the first place but it is a huge part of the decision making and should be taken into consideration in the first place.
Among other things, the political situation will decide over how easy or difficult your business endeavor might become with aspects that are a.) out of your control and b.) have nothing to do with your products. One very strong example is the visa situation that now has become drastically different with Brexit. Why does this affect you and your business you might ask yourself. Simply because one of the reasons you chose the United Kingdom for your European headquarter was that is was located in Europe (which technically is still the case, but practically not anymore) you could hire every European Union citizen to work for you without additional visa hassles.
You did not have to take import/export taxes into consideration within the European Union as well as some Commonwealth countries (which could lead to a future blog about England and the Commonwealth) and last but not least, billing, phone rates and an endless list of things, you did not have to worry about. Well, now you do! Brexit causes citizens that have lived and worked in England or British citizens living outside of England in a European Union country having to having to apply for visas.
Did you prepare to sponsor your British citizen working in your Italian subsidiary? What about your highly qualified CEO currently residing in England and leading your entire Western European Country business from there? You sponsored his visa for ‘England/European Union’. Well his status is now in jeopardy as he might not be able to lead your subsidiary in Germany, France or the Netherlands anymore. Simply because he won’t be authorized to work there any longer.
These are just tiny examples of how a political change can effect your business to a degree that it might be in jeopardy from an operational and financial standpoint.
Copyright Andrea Kastner – September 2016
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