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 Farm Business Entity Flowchart in our free Understanding the Options article, an excerpt 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.