Choosing a business structure for your farm can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, we have a helpful resource for you to reduce the overwhelm! Check out 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 the 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.
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.
If you are looking for a deep dive into the world of farm business structures, and all the legal considerations around these choices, we have a comprehensive resource to fit your needs. In our Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures (325pgs.) you will learn all about the business structure options available to you: Sole proprietorships/Partnerships, LLC’s, C Corporations, S Corporations, Nonprofits, and Co-ops. Through a mix of checklists, flowcharts, model organizational documents and more, you will be able to break down their options and choose a business entity that is best suited for your unique farm operation. The guide also explores complex issues like anti-corporate farming laws, running multiple entities, and going into business with other farmers. Note: The printed book version is available for purchase from Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE). Go to https://www.sare.org/resources/farmers-guide-to-business-structures/.
If diving right into a large book isn’t the right choice, watch our video tutorial What, Why, and How of Choosing a Business Entity for the Farm. In this tutorial, learn all about partnerships, LLCs, S corporations, C corporations, and cooperatives. We’ll go over how to choose amongst these choices as well as what goes into organizing and maintaining a business entity. Do you need bylaws or an operating agreement – and what should go in those documents? How much does it cost to form an LLC or a corporation? And what exactly is an S corporation, anyway? We’ll also address annual duties and tax aspects of business entities.