top of page

Starting with something new

Diversifying the farm can be scary, because it will cost money and you may not be completely comfortable with a new venture if you've only known the farm.

The reality is though, unless you are one of the top performing farmers and are fortunate enough to have great land and great yields, you will struggle with conventional crops alone and this is harder and harder the smaller your holding is.

What should you do?

There are many weird and wonderful things that people do to diversify on their farm, and each of us has our own passions and strengths, you may come up with something unthought of (good luck to you!) but these are the most common diversifications we see:

  • Rental properties - The most widespread form of diversified income on the farm.  This is a relatively easy diversification to understand, you put a large amount of capital, decide upon building the things yourself (normally not a great idea) or getting someone in to do it, then you sit back and rent the thing out.

  • Farm shop - So you've built a beautiful new building and you want to run a business from it yourself rather than renting it out to a third party.  This can be a lucrative business with the right reputation and in the right location.

  • Activities locations - Such as paintball, Go Karting or Airsoft.  If there is a gap in the market this can be a nice rental earner and you can have some fun at the same time with some preferential rates no doubt!  This could be low capital outlay and even better if you can get a third party business to take on the risk and do the market research.

  • Energy generation - Solar panels, wind turbines and anaerobic digesters.  Some capital outlay to then receive Feed In Tarif for excess energy units passed to the National Grid.

  • Equine - There's always someone with a passion for horses and often it doesn't become a business.  There are many options like livery, training, stud farming and cross country.

  • Dog fields - A relatively small capital outlay if you have a market for it.  We can get you in to contact with someone who has set this up very well and offers consultancy to others looking in to it.

The list is endless, and you can attend events like The Farm Business Innovation Expo to explore more.

We can help you to consider how to structure your diversification, we will work through challenges such as:

  • Should I set up a new entity for the diversification?

  • How will I fund it?

  • How will this impact on any taxes, in particular IHT? - Read about Balfour

  • How will this impact on VAT?

We will work with you or with your agent to ensure that you go in to this on good footing.

bottom of page