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.

Register your details with Rural Payments and Services online.

By providing the following details, you will receive a Business Reference Number (BRN) and be able to use Rural Payments and Services:

  • name of business
  • names of owners and co-owners
  • nature of business
  • location
  • land boundaries
  • land uses

Keeping your details updated is very important as out-of-date information could, in some cases, cost your business time and money.

You can make changes to your details online after registering.

You may be required to register with other public bodies and agencies. Please check the type of business you have or contact us to find out more.

You can also find out more at these websites:.

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 may be required by law to pass on details of your business to other public bodies and agencies.

You can 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.

If you’re new to farming (or 40 years old or younger), there are specific schemes aimed at helping you. Find out more abou available funding 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.

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

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

Contact us

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