UK transition: Are you ready for the UK’s new start in Europe?

The UK’s new start, independent of the European Union, starts on 1 January 2021.

If you travel to Europe, buy or sell in Europe (including online) and/or collect personal data such as names, addresses and phone numbers from Europe, you’ll need to know about the new rules.

It’s easy to check your business is ready. In this post, we explain how to check and where to get more information.

How to check your business is ready

Check, change, go

To get ready for the 1 January 2021, the UK Government has asked small business owners to do three things to check they’re ready for the UK’s new start:

Check 🔍

The Government have launched a handy checker tool so you can find out how your business will be affected by the new start.

Answer the questions and you’ll get personalised information about the changes which will affect your business.

You can also sign up to get email updates when things change. | Checker

Change 📝

Use the results from the Government checker to read the relevant information, get the right documents, and/or adjust how your business operates.


When you’ve checked what you need to do and made the changes, you’ll be good to go – ready for the UK’s new start.

Get ready – prepare now

The UK Government is still negotiating with the EU so not all the new rules are ready. 

But some of the things British people and businesses need to do to prepare for the new start have to happen regardless of what happens in the negotiations, so it’s sensible to get ready now.

Get started by checking what you need to do: | Checker

If you’re in Northern Ireland…

The information on this page is for people and businesses in England, Wales and Scotland.

If you and/or your business is in Northern Ireland, the guidance might be different. The Government expects to publish guidance for Northern Ireland in September 2020.

Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer