Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures

LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships and More

Rachel Armstrong, Erin Hannum, Laura Fisher and Lisa Schlessinger | 2018

Establishing and maintaining the right business structure for your farm operation lays the foundation for a stable, resilient farm business. Forming a business structure can help manage risk by protecting the owners’ assets from the business’ liabilities; promote good business practices through accounting and decision-making protocols; raise funds from outside investors; and ease the ownership transition process. For most farmers and ranchers, choosing a structure is straightforward. Complexity arises when drafting organizing documents to support your structure of choice, or, determining how it will operate.

Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures: LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships and More will support you throughout this process, from outlining the options and how to choose one, to in-depth chapters on the characteristics and requirements of each. To help you on your way, this Guide includes sample operating agreements, bylaws and other documents for C corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). This Guide is meant to assist you but does not offer legal or financial advice for your situation. To succeed in this process, work with an attorney, accountant and others with expertise in this subject area.

Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures: LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships and More was written by Farm Commons and published by SARE. Find additional resources on this topic on the Farm Commons website.

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