There is usually much more to buying or selling a farm than just the land as a farm is a usually a family business, run either through a limited company or, more often, as a family partnership.
Solicitor and Head of Agriculture
The land is often held separately from the business and licensed or leased to the company or partnership by one or more family members, but not all shareholders or partners in the business. The buyer may buy the land from X and the business from Y.
Then there are the assets of the business to consider. Plant and machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters and the like are large and expensive assets. Live stock may also be included in the sale.
Usually, but by no means always, the benefit of subsidy payments will pass with the farm, such as EU Basic Payment (or whatever subsidy system is introduced by the Government when we leave the EU). There may well be chattels included in the sale such as poultry units and timber buildings not fixed to the land.
There may be cross compliance condition requirements and greening payments under the Basic Payment Scheme to consider. Water abstraction licences, Woodland Grant agreements, agri-environment agreements or holdover rights for growing crops may form part of the sale or purchase.
We Can Help
At McMillan Williams, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including agricultural businesses and landowners. Our specialist commercial property solicitors are experts in the complexities of agricultural conveyancing and we can help to ensure that, as a seller, you achieve the best price for your farm and farming business or, as a buyer, you get everything that you negotiated.