It’s an old joke among farmers: “I should really form a nonprofit organization because I certainly don’t make any profit!” While this may resonate within the farming community, in actuality running your farm as a nonprofit organization is not the right choice for most farms. However, it can be the right fit for farms with a truly educational and charitable mission. In our free resource, Farm Business Structure Basics, we include some basic information about non-profits and farms.
For a deeper dive into farms and non-profits, read our Chapter 8: Nonprofit Fundamentals (11pgs.) from the Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures. This guide explores when a nonprofit structure is truly the right choice for a farm and explains the process for setting up a nonprofit entity.
Keep in mind that the non-profit model is not the only way you can run an educational farm. Check out our resource, From the Field: An Educational Farm’s Path to Choosing Its Business Structure (11pgs.) to learn more about your options.
Because the nonprofit entity is unsuitable for most farms, many folks will want to explore other options. Start with our Farm Business Structure Basics. It answers the most frequently asked questions farmers have when choosing a business structure, such as: I’m not sure I want to form a business entity? Can’t I just sell my products or services? Which one is better – a corporation or an LLC? If you are more of a visual learner, and want to see all your business structure options, follow the flowchart in our free Understanding Your Options which is Chapter 2 of our Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures. Through a series of Yes/No questions, this flowchart leads the reader to business structure options that are likely to fit the farm’s needs. Watch Farmers Speak on Business Structures to hear from farmers Phoebe and Hector of Hawk’s Nest Healing Gardens in North Carolina as they share about their decision making process when choosing between a non-profit or LLC.
For audio learners, listen to our Podcast Episode 5: Farm Like You Mean Business! This podcast is a basic introduction to business entities for farms. You’ll learn about sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations as the hosts explore the big question: What’s best for your farm enterprise? Hear directly from farmers about their personal experiences with tax issues, organizational documents, and more.