Monthly Archives: August 2019

Getting your business ready for no-deal Brexit if you don’t pay VAT – EORI number registration

HMRC state UK businesses need an EORI number to trade with Europe after a no-deal Brexit.

I received this email from HMRC yesterday and I suspect I only received it because I signed up for their update emails (none of the others of which have been useful so far). I am just putting it here for people to see – I’ve been through the process and got my number (but when they give it to you, copy and paste the page into your own records otherwise you have to go back in and search for it once you’ve been approved). You need a Government Gateway login to access it.

This is not legal or business advice, I am merely sharing what I’ve been sent in case it helps any other sole traders who are not VAT-registered.

Dear Liz,

The Government has said that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October whatever the circumstances.

Leaving the EU without a deal means there will be immediate changes to the way UK businesses trade with the EU that may impact your business.

  • UK businesses will have to apply customs, excise and VAT processes to goods sold into the EU (these are the same rules that already apply for goods and services traded outside of the EU).
  • Trading partners in the EU will have to apply customs, excise and VAT processes to trade they carry out with you, in the same way that they do for goods and services traded from outside of the EU.

HMRC is helping businesses get ready for Brexit by automatically issuing them with a UK EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number. We have written to more than 88,000 VAT registered companies to let them know the UK EORI number they’ve been assigned. Businesses will not be able to move goods in and out of the UK without one.

If your business is not VAT-registered, you will still need to apply now for a UK EORI. HMRC cannot give you this automatically.

You can check the next steps you need to take to ensure that your business is ready for Brexit using our trader checklist.

We will continue to provide you with the latest guidance and support to help you prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU.

You can sign up for HMRC emails here.

You can register for Government Gateway here.

Not legal advice. Not tax advice. Sharing what I’ve been sent.

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Posted by on August 23, 2019 in Brexit, Business



Small business chat update – Kathy Ennis

Small business chat update – Kathy Ennis

Catching up with one of last year’s interviews, today we’re chatting to Kathy Ennis, from LittlePiggy. She focuses on helping small and micro-businesses develop, including social media, marketing, branding and business planning. Kathy joined us in May 2012 and we updated her story in July 2013, August 2014 and February 2016April 2017 and April 2018. At that point, this was Kathy’s plan for the year: “Well, I hope to be living beside the sea by that time. As far as the business is concerned, I just want things to tick along the way they are at the moment as it’s all so lovely at the moment..” Let’s see what happened next …

Hello again, Kathy! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago? Are you in fact by the sea?

Well, I am by the sea. I moved to Old Hunstanton in Norfolk last November. It’s a lovely place and I feel so privileged to be able to call it home.

I hoped to minimise the disruption to my business but there have been a few hiccups. Whenever I have moved before it has always been within a defined geographical area, which meant I carried my network with me – you know what they say “your network is your net worth”. This move was a complete upping of sticks, so I am having to start a lot of things from scratch; that can’t but have an impact on business.

I am lucky to still be working with a few of my clients in London, and I do work online with others – but my big push for the coming year is to build a client base in and around my new home.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

As I said previously, the house move has had a big impact and caused quite a few changes. I have also been working on honing my offer and my customer profile which means I am working with clients in a slightly different way. I must say, the use of platforms like Zoom has started to really transform the way I work.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

Rather than learned, I am learning to take time out to really appreciate my surroundings.

I live a 3 minute walk from one of the most beautiful beaches / coastlines in England; I also have marvellous country walks on my doorstep. There’s more to life than work and, sometimes, you can over-do/over-think stuff; taking time out is essential.

Any more hints and tips for people?

I am able to structure my workload and appreciate my surroundings because I know exactly what I am offering and who I am offering it to. I have a plan for my business that allows me to get things done and not worry about what’s next – because I know what’s next.

So, my biggest tip is to get a plan – not a business plan, but a plan for your business. I use a method I developed where it can all be done on one sheet of paper. If anyone wants to know more they can book a Discovery Call with me on

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

More established in my local area, working with clients face to face but with more emphasis online. Working fewer hours and days per week- all the things I have remodelled my business to allow me to do.

I’m fortunate in that none of my work is location-based, so I could work anywhere in the world as long as I have broadband and a decent keyboard. And the nature of my work means most of my clients now are regulars or by recommendation, so I don’t need that local network so much, although I certainly engaged with it at the beginning to build my confidence and experience, and also help others. But it must be so hard to build that up again! I have also adjusted my working hours – I very rarely work weekends now, and that allows me more down time, or time for my hobbies of running and athletics officiating. I wish Kathy all the best in building her networks locally, and am happy she can get out into marvellous natural environments so quickly and easily now (jealous? me?).






You can find the website for Kathy’s book here, and order it from Amazon.

Phone: 07815951585

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

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Posted by on August 3, 2019 in Business, Small Business Chat


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