Over 60 per cent of scale-ups are not anti-Brexit

New survey finds that most lawyers, accountants and consultants are unconcerned about Brexit.

62 per cent of scale-up businesses in professional services are indifferent or positive that Brexit will benefit their business.

A quarter (26 per cent) of scale-up businesses in the professional services sector believe that the government’s approach to Brexit and international trade will benefit them, while one in three (36 per cent) think it will have no impact at all, according to a new report from Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and tax group.

The report, Dream bigger: The scale-up moment, which surveyed 500 UK scale-ups and 500 start-ups, also found that high growth businesses in professional services are in an optimistic mood with almost eight out of ten (76 per cent) of the firms questioned planning to hire new staff to keep pace with growth.

The professional services sector accounts for 15 per cent of UK GDP and includes professionals such as lawyers, accountants and management consultants.

Big business and small business divided

However, Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed, who runs investment firm JamJar said earlier this year that Brexit was unhelpful. ‘No-one I know is saying it’s (Brexit) a good thing,’ he said.

Big business and smaller enterprises are split on Brexit, which will happen on 29 March 2019, as a recent YouGov poll found 93 per cent of big business owners wanted to remain in the EU, possibly because of concerns regarding people and immigration while just 47 per cent of smaller businesses were in favour of staying in the EU.

Fresh deals overseas

Neil Harris, chief financial officer of engineering firm EA Technology Ltd told accountancy firm Grant Thornton in 2015 that some would argue that Brexit would allow the UK government to sign new deals outside of the EU, which is posting slower economic growth than parts of Africa, countries in South America and China.

Giles Murphy, head of the professional practices group at Smith & Williamson said, ‘The traditional professional services model is starting to be challenged by new thinking, new investment and new approaches to utilising technology. However, the opportunity should not be restricted to new entrants to the market. Traditional practices with the right strategy and desire can and are showing that scaling up within the professional practices sector is a significant opportunity.’

Further reading on Brexit

How much of a threat does Brexit pose to UK entrepreneurs?

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.

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