SME Brexit Support Fund

SME Brexit Support Fund for UK businesses

June 3, 2021 in Brexit, Distance Sales, Ecommerce Tips, European VAT

The SME Brexit Support Fund has been created by HMRC to help businesses who import or export goods between the UK and the EU. You can use this to apply for and access practical support, including training and professional advice.  

Businesses can receive up to £2,000 to help them adapt to the custom rules and tax requirements that were affected by Brexit.   

Brexit has posed hurdles for UK businesses trading with the EU, bringing new and unfamiliar customs clearance procedures, decisions over the importer of record and new VAT liabilities. As well as adapting to these changes, businesses are also bracing for the EU VAT reforms arriving in July. The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund will help traders pay for practical support ensuring they can continue importing and exporting effectively with the EU.  

Who is eligible?  

To be eligible for the grant you must self-certify that your business meets certain criteria. The criteria are:  

  • Businesses who only import or export goods between the UK and EU or between the UK and Northern Ireland – if you already import/export goods to or from a non-EU country you won’t be eligible for this grant 
  • Businesses must be established in the UK or have a permanent UK establishment or branch for at least 12 months prior to applying 
  • Annual turnover must not exceed £100 million 
  • Businesses must not have more than 500 employees 
  • Businesses must have a good track record with HMRC. This means you must have been compliant with HMRC requirements in the past and not have incurred overdue tax returns, unpaid duties, personal insolvency or negative net assets 

Businesses must also agree to cooperate with HMRC at intervals after the grant is provided so that data can be collected to demonstrate the results of the scheme.  

How can I apply? 

You can apply through the PWC website and will be asked for some basic information about your organisation. For the two types of grants, you will be required to submit a quote amount for the practical support your business needs, what organisation you would like to choose to provide this support and some specific details on the advice you’re seeking.  Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or when all the funds have been allocated.

For the training grant you will be asked to supply:  

  • Quote of proposed training expenditure 
  • Business name and address of chosen training provider and course content 
  • Details of the training you wish to obtain 

For the Professional Advice Grant, you will be asked to supply:  

  • Quote of proposed professional advice 
  • Business name and address of chosen professional advisor 
  • Details of the advice you wish to obtain 

If your application is approved, you will shortly receive an email stating that your grant request has been successful.  

How can I best use this grant? 

Combined with the effects of the global pandemic, Brexit trade uncertainties have left many cross-border ecommerce businesses unsure over how to continue importing or exporting. The government has recognised that these businesses need practical help to adapt to a new trading relationship with the EU.  

EU VAT compliance has been a significant hurdle for some smaller and medium-sized businesses post-Brexit, and at we’ve already started consulting with businesses who are using this grant to gain a better understanding of their VAT liabilities.  

Although this topic may be new to some, it’s not new to us – we’ve helped hundreds of businesses continue trading with the EU since Brexit and continue to help them navigate the often-confusing landscape of international VAT. Our team of consultants are experts in the field of compliance and are dedicated to supporting businesses through the SME Brexit Support Fund, so that the EU market can continue to offer ecommerce sellers expansive opportunities in the future. 

With the opportunity this Support Fund offers, you can benefit from partially or fully financed expert support. To find out more about our consultation process or what support we can provide your business, schedule a call today and we can discuss your needs.  

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