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Diversification – what you need to know

Against a tough economic backdrop many farmers and other landowners have chosen diversification as a way of keeping their farm financially viable and protected for the next generation.

With approximately half of all UK farms using some form of diversified activity in their farming business it can provide a welcome and crucial income stream.

However if you are looking to make the most out of your land, it’s important to weigh up the options.

Is diversification right for you?

Things to think about when considering diversification include:

  • Why do you want to diversify?
  • Do you need to diversify?
  • How do you plan to diversify?
  • What rules and regulations do you need to consider in light of the planned diversification (for example any employment or Health & Safety considerations)?
  • How this is likely to impact your core business?
  • Have you prepared a business plan?
  • What resources are required to make this happen successfully (from a set-up, staffing and cash-flow point of view)?
  • What are the potential liabilities?
  • Are there any tenancy agreements to consider?
  • Will you need planning permission?
  • Do you require any additional training?
  • Are there any available grants/funding to help you with your plans?
  • Is there any competitor analysis you can use to help you in your plans?
  • What is your projected turnover following diversification for both your current and your new business?
  • How do you intend to market your new business?
  • Have you created a growth strategy
  • How will you protect your intellectual property if relevant?
  • Are there any legal requirements, tax (including Inheritance Tax) and national insurance issues to consider?

While rewarding, diversification can be a high complex process and as such it’s important to have the right legal advice.

At Linder Myers we can help with a wide-range of land diversification issues, including Inheritance Tax implications, planning implications, employment agreements, tenancy agreements for commercial and residential properties and land, contract farming agreements, grazing licenses, business structures ( including partnerships and companies), succession planning, boundary disputes and the removal of trespassers.

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