New to farming

Date published: 1 January, 2015

If you're new to farming or are running your own agricultural business for the first time, the world of payments and inspections can be daunting.

So here's a quick run-down of what we do and what we need you to do.

Registering your business with us

We are responsible for keeping a detailed register of all agricultural businesses and land in Scotland, regardless of whether or not you apply for funding from us.

This helps us manage funding from the Common Agricultural Policy and helps us implement laws and regulations around public, plant and animal health.

We will record the name and nature of your business, where you are based, your land boundaries, land uses and the names of all of the owners and co-owners.

Keeping your details updated is very important as out-of-date information could, in some cases, cost your business time and money. The best way to do this is by registering your details with Rural Payments and Services online.

You can also make changes to your details online after registering.

In some cases, Rural Payments and Services is required by law to pass on details of your business to other public bodies and agencies.

You might have to register with some of these as well as us. So please check the type of business you have or contact us to find out more.

You can also find out more at these websites:.


Apply for funding from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) through us. Find out more about the CAP below.

Common Agricultural Policy

Funding is available through a number of different schemes, each with the aim of supporting Scottish agriculture and rural life.

You may be entitled to some payments provided you meet the eligibility criteria around your type of business, its location or land type.

CAP is limited, and all applications are assessed against the scheme criteria before a funding or payment decision is made.

If you're new to farming (or 40 years old or younger), there are specific schemes aimed at helping you. Find out more about these below.

New Entrants schemes

All schemes


Throughout the year we conduct inspections at farms and businesses. These can be announced or unannounced.

Inspections help safeguard the environment, the public, crop health and animal welfare, and make sure we meet our obligations for using European Commission money.

When an inspector visits, they will usually check for several different things.

For example, they may want to check your livestock are tagged correctly, the field boundaries you have submitted are accurate or that you are disposing of any industrial chemicals, such as sheep dip, correctly.

Our inspectors also make sure you're operating within the law and spending grant money in the way it was agreed.

If you fail an inspection, we may withdraw and reclaim funding you have received from us. You can find out more about inspections below.


You can also find out what type of inspections you may face depending on funding you receive or the business you run using our inspections checker.

Inspections checker

Stay in touch

If you are unsure about any of the above, there are plenty of ways to get in touch.

Contact us

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