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New Foreign Buyer Rules for Ag Land Take Effect

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s finalized rules regarding foreign-buyer registration for agricultural property ownership took effect April 4.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Division of Consumer Services finalized its rules that prohibit certain foreign principals from owning, having a controlling interest in or acquiring more than a de minimis indirect interest in Florida land classified as agricultural by the property appraiser for tax assessment purposes as defined by s. 193.461, F.S.

The rules, which became effective on April 4, relate to the 2023 Florida law “Conveyances to Foreign Entities” in Florida Statutes Chapter 692. The registration portal can be found at

There are distinctions between the new agricultural land rules and those previously published by the Department of Commerce regarding the registration of certain foreign principals with interest in properties proximal to military installations or critical infrastructure. Several of those are:

  • The agricultural land rules provide fewer definitions of terms and some instances the terms are defined differently. For example, the new rules defining controlling interest in agricultural land contain different parameters than the rule defining controlling interest in real property. (with no parenthesis)
  • The new rules cover the registration of certain foreign principals’ interest in a lease of agricultural property’
  • The registration of equitable title has no exclusion for real estate contracts which are to close within 90 days of execution.

Realtors® are not part of the registration process. Due to the complexity of the new law, Realtors should advise customers to speak to counsel about their legal responsibilities.

Rule Chapter 5J-27, including the six updates, can be found on the Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register website. They include: 

Chapter Title: Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Property

  • 5J-27.001 – Definitions
  • 5J-27.002 – Agricultural Land Transactions Prior to July 1, 2023
  • 5J-27.003 – Registration
  • 5J-27.004 – Fines
  • 5J-27.005 – Liens
  • 5J-27.006 – Rebuttable Presumption

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