Beginner’s Guide on Starting an Agricultural Business in the United Kingdom

Starting an Agricultural Business in the United Kingdom

Starting an agricultural business is more than acquiring farmland and rearing livestock. This business is closely interlinked with the manufacturing and F&B sectors. Exports totalled approximately GBP9.7 billion in 2020, while agriculture uses roughly 69% of the UK’s land.

In addition to producing items consumed on a daily basis, farms also serve as a leisure place or a perfect weekend getaway.  The agribusiness sector itself is vast, varied, and focused on modern food production and management and all it entails.

Today, farming is about putting innovative concepts and bringing new technology for producing high and better yields. Innovative digitalization has changed this industry, especially with AI-driven technology. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time to consider starting a farming business and process on how to set up a business in the UK.


Industry Practice

Generally, farming itself comprises pastoral, arable, and third, a combo of these two. Pastoral farming is about livestock and related produce, while arable agriculture is associated with crop production.

Agriculture is diversified than just farming. Here are different types of agricultural businesses in the UK:

  • Agriculture consulting
  • Biomass and biofuels
  • Dairy and livestock
  • Fish farming
  • Honey Bee farming
  • Organic farming and plant nurseries
  • Flower farming
  • Bed & Breakfasts (B&Bs) and restaurants
  • Camping and caravan sites
  • Farm shops and equestrian facilities
  • Wedding venues, clubs, and pubs
  • Speciality farming such as bonsai farms, vineyards, chocolate farms
  • Entertainment farming such as petting zoo, hayrides, horse stables, etc


Step by Step Agricultural Farming Plan

It takes a month to learn how to run a farm, producing yield, planting crops, and marketing it. With these eight steps, you will run a farm like a pro:

Decide What You Want to Produce

Agriculture is a vast industry, and you need to decide what products you want to farm. This depends on your preference and interest. Once you decide that, you can choose your farmland, soil type, agriculture tools to begin.

Learn Basics of Farming

There are many types of learning material available on the internet about farming. These courses will give you a good exposure to agriculture which will also provide you with clarity on the product you want to farm.

Plan Your Finances

Starting a farm requires land, labour, equipment, and whatnot. All this needs capital investment. Investments can start from as low as 10,000 Euros to millions of euros. Decide if you have the working capital or you need to seek a bank loan.

Property Purchase

Whether you start agriculture or dairy farming, you will need to buy land. Answer the following questions before selecting a suitable land:

  • Is the climate suitable for my farming?
  • Is the land safe and suitable for crops and animal rearing?
  • Can the land be irrigated?
  • How much rainfall does this region receive annually?

Planning Your Farm

You need to check how much irrigation and fertilization the land requires. You will also want to know if the land or agriculture you wish to do can adapt to crop rotation. Alternatively, you may also want to plan on utilizing/selling byproducts produced from livestock farming.

Make a Business Plan

Make your farming plan and ensure to have a backup plan as well. Reaching a goal is as important as following systems which will ensure you meet your business goals. Hence, having a professional business plan helps a lot.

Develop Your Product

Once you start farming, you will also want to upsell your products. For example, if you produce sugarcane, you may want to sell sugarcane juice and molasses. So, start thinking in what direction do you want to develop your farm.

Marketing an Agricultural Business

For effective marketing, you need to decide your target audience. Once you know who you want to sell your products to, you can plan your packaging and branding around the produce.


Business Registration Process for Starting an Agricultural Business in the United Kingdom

Once you have followed all the steps for UK company incorporation and the company is established, you need to register with HMRC for taxation. After that, you need to set up a bank account.

Most agricultural businesses are family-based. They are either family-run sole proprietorships or partnership-based firms. However, you can also establish other entities like limited companies or a Limited Liability Partnership.

After forming a company, you need to work on a structured business plan that helps you define objectives and generate profits. A business plan will also help you find out how much capital you will need to get started. The most extensive areas of investment will be leasing or buying the land and relevant equipment.

You need to have a physical office address to start your work operations and mailing purposes.

Today, a digital presence is also a must, which begins with developing a website. This further helps you to diversify and market your business.


Licences and Permits Needed

You will have to get approvals from the local authorities for planning permissions, grazing licenses, etc. The corporate service provider in the United Kingdom can help you will set up a farming business. Every business has its specific regulations and compliance. If you run a B2B or farm-stay business which also provides restaurant facilities, you need approvals for serving food and alcohol. If your agriculture business is livestock-based, then the following approvals must be included:

  • Registration from the Food Standard Agency (FSA).
  • Certificate from Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
  • Registration and licensing for your farm vehicles and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
  • Rural Land Register for agriculture.

For more on starting an agricultural business in the UK, get in touch with us at 3E Accounting. We provide customizable company incorporation services that suit all types of business sizes. 3E Accounting shall take complete responsibility for paperwork and compliance. This gives you room 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.

Starting an Agricultural Business in the United Kingdom