Farm Partnerships and Succession

Farm Partnerships and Succession

A partnership form of business is an arrangement involving shared roles and shared profits among all partners. Intra-family partnerships are the most common type of farm partnership. Families use this as a way of introducing their heirs or successors to the family farming business.

A similar type of agreement comes in handy when two or more farmers wish to combine their farm enterprises into one larger farming business. Such partnerships are formed regardless of the type of farming as the partners focus on improving their resources. For instance, financial input, labour as a resource and business flexibility.

Farm Partnerships and Succession

Principles of a Successful Farm Business Partnership

A partnership will likely be successful if all partners keep and adhere to the set principles for running their farm business. Some of these principles include;

  • Clearly structured farm business agreement
  • Effective communication, trust, and transparency among the partners
  • Respect and equality among the partners

Financial Benefits of Farm Partnerships in Ireland

To increase the rate of farm partnership formations and operations in Ireland, the Irish government introduced incentives for such partnership business enterprises. The incentives include:

The revenue of farm partnerships is usually not subject to taxation because individual partners are liable for taxes accredited to their income. Profits acquired in partnerships are shared at the end of every taxation year and divided according to the agreed profit-sharing ratio as stipulated in the partnership agreement. Each partner ends up making distinct income tax returns. As a result, partners are exposed to the following taxation benefits;

  • Access to young trained farmer stock relief for farmers under 35 years.
  • Maximized low rate at 0% income tax band
  • Access to enhanced Stock Relief for parents
  • Farm Partnership Successions

At least one member of the farm partnership (to be defined as the “Farmer”)  must have been engages in the trade of farming on farm land owned or leased by that person. This land must be at least 3 acres is useable farm land and be farmed by then for at least 2 years immediately preceding the date of formation of the partnership.

At least one other person in the farm partnership (to be defined as the “Successor”)  must have an appropriate qualification in agriculture as specified in the Regulations. The Partnership office will require the registration of the business plan. A Succession Agreement must be entered into between the parties. 

The Successor should ensure that they receive full legal advice as to legal title of the property they will be acquiring. They should ensure that they are aware of any burden, charges or mortgages affecting the property as well as any leases of easements or rights of ways which may affect. 

For land which has a mortgage registered against it, the lending institution will likely require that a new mortgage be entered into. All parties should obtain legal advice in relation to all mortgages and guarantees affecting the land. 

Scheme Benefits

Measures mentioned under the Common Agricultural Policy reform of 2014 consist of several incentives benefiting registered farm partnerships. These benefits include the Young farmers national reserve and the Young farmers scheme.

Forming a farm partnership

A Farm Partnership includes all parties that are actively involved in the day to day running of farm activities. All farmers can enter into partnerships if they develop the interest. Farm partnerships can be formed under the following circumstances:

  • A farming family having younger family members succeed the parents
  • Two or more farmers joining their separate businesses to become one
  • A farmer with no successor partnering with a young trained farmer whose dream is to venture into the farming business.

Want to Get More Advice?

Are you in Wexford, Kilkenny, or Waterford and looking for a good farm partnership or succession advice? Your satisfaction is always our priority. We are guided by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Speak to Frank Halley and Fiona Ormond who deal with our farm partnerships and succession.

Contact us today to get a free quote.

FAQs for Farm Partnerships and Succession

What is a farm partnership, and how does it work in Ireland?

A farm partnership is a formal arrangement where two or more individuals jointly run a farming business. It involves sharing profits, losses, and decision-making, and requires a written agreement outlining each partner’s role and responsibilities.

What are the benefits of forming a farm partnership?

Benefits include shared resources and expertise, potential tax advantages, improved work-life balance, and a structured approach to managing and growing the farming business.

How do I set up a farm partnership in Ireland?

Setting up a farm partnership involves drafting a partnership agreement, registering the partnership with the Department of Agriculture, and ensuring compliance with legal and tax obligations.

What should be included in a farm partnership agreement?

A farm partnership agreement should detail the contribution of each partner, profit-sharing ratios, management responsibilities, dispute resolution mechanisms, and provisions for joining or leaving the partnership.

What is farm succession planning, and why is it important?

Farm succession planning involves preparing for the future transfer of farm ownership and management, often to the next family generation. It’s crucial for ensuring the farm’s continuity and avoiding future disputes.

How can I ensure a smooth succession process for my farm?

A smooth succession process involves early planning, open family communication, accountancy advice, legal advice, and possibly creating a will or trust to manage the transfer. It’s also important to consider the financial tax implications for all parties.

What legal considerations are there in farm succession?

Legal considerations include property transfer laws, tax implications, potential inheritance disputes, and ensuring the succession plan complies with Irish law.

Can a farm partnership affect succession planning?

Yes, a farm partnership can impact succession planning. The partnership agreement should address how the farm is to be managed and transferred in the future, including any succession rights of partners.

What tax considerations should be taken into account in farm partnerships and succession?

Tax considerations include capital gains tax, stamp duty, inheritance tax, and potential reliefs or exemptions available for agricultural property and family transfers.

How can disputes in farm partnerships and succession be prevented or resolved?

Preventing disputes involves clear, comprehensive agreements and succession plans, regular communication among all parties, and mediation or legal intervention in case of unresolved conflicts.

As with any legal matter, it’s important to consult with a qualified solicitor who can provide advice specific to your situation. If you would like to book a consultation to discuss a farm partnership or succession then get in touch with Frank Halley or Fiona Ormond 051-874073 today or email us at

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