Our expert team can advise you on the full spectrum of business matters.
At The McKinstry Company, we are property law experts with a particular specialism in agricultural law and rural property. We are involved, every day, in aspects of sales and purchases of agricultural land, farms and rural properties across Ayrshire.
In some ways, selling a farm is similar to selling any business, some particularities arise in the context of the sale of agricultural businesses and land. Here we outline some of the key considerations which arise in the sale or purchase of a farm.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our expert team today. We are on hand to support you and answer any questions you may have about the sales process.
What Do You Need to Consider When Selling Agricultural Property or Farming Business?
Firstly, while it may seem obvious, it is important to consider why you want to sell the land or business. For example, you may only want to sell part of your land which you do not use. Alternatively, you may want to transfer your entire business on retirement. The reasons for the sale will determine the options available to you.
Selling Agricultural Land
To take the first example, if you have surplus land and wish to sell part of it, you may want to consider how you would want the land you sell to be used. Housing developers are increasingly purchasing land in traditionally rural areas to build housing estates. Alternatively, sales of rural land for energy projects, such as wind farms, are also becoming increasingly common.
Many farmers in recent years have sold land to developers for these purposes, and there are many different ways of conducting these sales. It may be a straightforward sale of agricultural land, with the developer buying the land outright and acquiring title. Alternatively, you may enter into an options agreement. An options agreement is a contract that gives one party (the developer) the option of buying a piece of land within a defined period. Usually, a deposit will be paid to the landowner on signing the contract, which will not need to be repaid even if the option is not exercised. This type of contract works well for developers, who can guarantee their right to buy the land while exploring the options and viability of a particular project (e.g. obtaining planning permission). If you wish to know more about sales and contracts involving developers, it is a good idea to seek legal advice at the outset to ensure all decisions are well-informed.
Selling a Farming Business
Alternatively, you may be considering the sale of your business in its entirety. When selling a farming business, it is not only the sale of the land that you have to consider but also the implications for the wider business. There may be particular processes to be followed in transferring employees, for example, to ensure worker’s rights are respected. You should also fully consider the tax implications of any sale. Questions of tied accommodation link to the terms and conditions of employment to be considered.
Equally, you will need to be prepared for the due diligence checks, which will be conducted by any prospective purchaser. They will expect to review every detail of the business, from the accounts to the contracts you have with suppliers. This is how the purchaser will assess the profitability and value of your business, and it is important that information is provided in full and in a timely manner. While this can seem a daunting task, having a supportive and dedicated team of solicitors can ensure the smooth-running of this process.
Contact The McKinstry Company Agriculture Lawyers, Ayrshire
At The McKinstry Company, we can work with you to understand the implications of selling farmland or a farming business and ensure the best outcome possible for you.
If you want to learn more about our agricultural services generally, get in touch today. You can contact us on 01292 281711 or via our online enquiry form. Our friendly and dedicated team are here to help you.
Really helpful and friendly always replied to calls and emails. Thank you very much for all your help and advice and hard work.Mr S, Auchinleck
First class throughout 100% better than last time we moved house and used a different firm. Always responded to promptly with appropriate detailed replies. First ClassMr N, Ayr
Thank you for the support during a difficult time.Mrs M, Ayr
Every email was timely and actioned quickly. Kirsty and Libby were exceptional to deal with. They kept me informed in a timely manner with the added complication of our sale being carried out whilst we are currently based in America.Anon.
My emails were always responded to in a timely manner no matter who I was dealing with. Thank you to Nat and Kirsty who helped throughout our move and during some difficult times when lock down was first announced! They have both been great.Miss K, Dalry
Everything was done extremely professionally.Mrs G, Ayr
Very happy with the way my case has been dealt with despite working restrictions due covid 19 - thank you. Calls & emails always responded to within reasonable timescale. Very impressed with lawyers and staff I have dealt with during current case and previous divorce case very friendly and efficient.Mrs H, Ayr
All very prompt, efficient, clear, friendly and personable. Not overwhelming with legal jargon. Many thanks for making the process of setting up a will so straightforward.Mrs D, Troon
We required our Wills to be amended and that was done without any problems whatsoever.Mrs F, Ayr
Very business-like and helpfulMr M, Ayr
I was very impressed with the professionalism shown by all members of staff I had any dealing with. All calls and emails were relevant to the sale of my flat. All questions I had were dealt with at the time. For any further legal matters I will certainly be using The McKinstry CompanyMr H, Ayr
Excellent service most happy with attentiveness and customer service.Mr F, Condorrat
Nat & Libby efficiently dealt with every question I had.Mrs K, Ayr
Kirsty understood our weird schedule when we were often 8 hours behind UK time, and simplified things for us by liaising via email. She was extremely approachable and dependable. In Kirsty’s absence, Jodie and Nathaniel would step in and communicate with us, and were very helpful too.Mrs N, Ayr
Great service and always on hand to answer our questions. Prompt and efficient response.Mr H, Ferniegair
Questions and communication were answered promptlyMr W, Sinclairston
Speaking from my own personal experience I was perfectly happy with the service I received. Everything was done to my satisfaction.Mrs I, Largs
Very efficient, timely and very mannerly on the phoneMr McN, Mauchline
The service was superb. Kirsty and team were extremely helpful.Mr and Mrs R, Ayr
First class service from start till finish. Always there to give help and advice.Mr R, Ayr
Great service and advice from a good professional company.Mr R, Kilmarnock
Excellent, very friendly and professional. I will be using you for all my property transactions in the future!Mrs S, Godstone
My case was handled sensitively and smoothly.Mr N, Ayr
Everyone concerned in the sale of our property was very efficient and kept us up to date with all happenings.D Ferguy, Cookstown
Great service. Would recommend you to others.Mr S, Kirkmichael
Communication was always available when required. Made me feel confident throughout the process.Mr L, Ayr
Always replied or phoned back when I needed my questions answered.Miss McF, Patna
A very prompt and friendly service, a pleasure to deal with.Mr R, Aberdeen
Robert was very supportive.M Carruthers, Kilmarnock.
Great, Rebecca was very pleasant to deal with and went out of her way to help with our caseS Everett, Kilbarchan
The solicitor / paralegal I was dealing with was very professional and performed to a high standard. I was very impressed.B Ferguson, Methil
Local firm, word of mouth good reports.K Rooney, Glasgow
All queries were dealt with in a prompt and professional manner and I was kept informed of progress as events developed. Thank you very much for making a difficult situation much easier to deal with.Mrs McG, Ayr
Communication via telephone and email was regular, prompt and comprehensive. All queries and questions were answered with no delays or problems. My experience with the McKinstry Company was pleasant and smooth.Mr McK, Ayr
My family and I received excellent service from everyone with whom we had contact. The service was of the highest standard and, as I have in the past, I will continue to recommend the company to anyone seeking legal assistance.Mrs S, Ayr
All emails and calls were dealt with promptly. Very impressed. Very very pleased with service.Mr and Mrs H, Hull
I enjoy the friendly atmosphere. Very professional.Mrs A, Ayr
Mr Honeyman was very professional and knowledgeable which made us feel reassured. Very happy with the service and if I needed a solicitor again I would get in touch.Mr B, Ardrossan
Prompt quick efficient communication.Mrs K, Cumnock
Ease of making appointments and timescale for completion of business all good.Mr & Mrs T, Maybole
Gave reassurance and comfort at a stressful time. I felt ten times better after our first meeting and support provided ultimately exceeded my desired outcome.Mr N, Saltcoats
The supportive way that the advice was provided along with the willingness to fit appointments in with our requirementsMr R, Ayr
The whole process was handled with upmost professionalism throughout.Mr McN, Kilwinning