Set Up an Agricultural Business in the United Kingdom

How to Set Up an Agricultural Business in the UK Get ready to reap what you sow as 3E Accounting explains how to set up an agricultural business in the UK.

If working in the great open fields gets your motor running, then agriculture is the industry to focus on. The agribusiness sector itself is wide, varied, and focused on modern food production and management and all it entails. The advent of innovative digitalisation has changed this industry, especially with AI-driven technology playing a more prominent role. With Brexit in the rear-view mirror, agricultural policy changes are ringing in more opportunities. It is certainly an exciting time to consider how to set up an agricultural business in the UK.


Entrepreneurs of the Land

Starting an agricultural business is more than just getting farmland and rearing some sheep. As a business, this industry is tied in with the UK’s manufacturing and F&B sector. Exports totalled approximately GBP9.7 billion in 2020, while agriculture uses roughly 69% of the UK’s land.

Generally, farming itself comprises of pastoral, arable and a hybrid of these two. Pastoral farming is based on livestock and related produce, while arable farming is focused on crop production. However, agriculture as a business is a lot more diversified than just farming. Types of agricultural businesses in the UK now include:

  • Agriculture consulting
  • Biomass and biofuels
  • Honeybee farming
  • Organic farming and plant nurseries
  • Bed & Breakfasts (B&Bs) and restaurants
  • Camping and caravan sites
  • Farm shops and equestrian facilities
  • Wedding venues, clubs and pubs

Most agricultural businesses are usually family-run sole proprietorships or partnerships. Other entities to consider include limited companies or an LLP (Limited Liability Partnership). A well-researched business plan will enable you to decide which structure works best for you. It will also help you figure out how much capital you will need to get started. The biggest areas of investment will be leasing or buying the land and relevant equipment.

Once your company is formed, you will need to register with HMRC for taxes and set up a bank account. Setting up a website is also a must, as this will enable you to diversify and market your business better.

Generally, you will need approvals from the local authorities for things such as planning permissions, grazing license, etc. The UK Government website has a detailed guide on the farming business. Specific regulations and compliance will depend on the nature of your business. If you run a B&B or farm-stay business with restaurant facilities, approvals include licences to serve food and alcohol, etc. If your business is more produce or livestock-based, some of the approvals include:

  • Registration and approvals from the Food Standard Agency (FSA).
  • Certification from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
  • Registration and licensing for all farm vehicles with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
  • Rural Land Register of land used for agricultural purposes.

For more on how to set up an agricultural business in the UK, get in touch with us at 3E Accounting. We provide customisable company formation packages to suit just about every budget. We’ll take care of the paperwork and compliance, leaving you free to focus on your business. Along with our affiliates and partners, we provide innovative solutions crafted specifically for your business. Contact 3E Accounting today to learn how to get your business future-ready.

How to Set Up an Agricultural Business in the UK