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Transition period: letter to the professional and business services sector

1st December 2020

Letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the professional and business services sector about actions they need to take from 1 January 2021.

See the letter HERE

Urgent message from the Business Secretary

There is just over a month to go until the end of the transition period and there will be new rules to follow from 1 January 2021 onwards. As Business Secretary, I urge you to ACT NOW to avoid your business operations being interrupted when the transition period ends.

As a business in the professional and business services sector, you can find out what you need to do by going to

The top actions you can take now to prepare are:

1. Get your professional qualifications recognised by EU regulators to be able to practise or service clients in the EU.

Starting the process to get your professional qualifications recognised by EU regulators by 31 December 2020 may help you to practise your profession (e.g. accountancy, engineering) in the EU.

2. Check if a visa or work permit is required to travel to the EU for work purposes and apply if necessary. You may face delays or refusal at the border when travelling for business if you do not comply with the immigration requirements of the EU27 if travelling from 1 January 2021.

3. Be prepared on data protection and data transfers.

Your business may not be able to legally receive personal data from the European Economic Area (EEA) from 1 January 2021 if you have not put alternative safeguards in place to cover EU to UK personal data flows.

4. If you are planning to recruit from overseas from 1 January 2021, you will need to register as a licensed visa sponsor. You may not be able to legally hire people from outside the UK if you do not have a licence. New employees from outside the UK will also need to meet new job, salary and language requirements. Irish citizens and those eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme are not affected.