ALEI August Webinar Series - Legal Considerations for Choosing Your Farm Business Structure


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In August 2022, the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) will host a webinar series to discuss business structure considerations for farm entrepreneurs. A farm’s business structure affects daily operations, taxes, the ability to have multiple investors, succession planning, and personal liability exposure. Farm owners should be sure they choose a business structure that gives them the right balance of legal protections and benefits according to their business goals. All are welcome to attend. However, the webinars will be particularly valuable for beginning farmers.


Each Monday in August, 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET, attendees will have an opportunity to hear from diverse legal, accounting, and insurance professionals and growers on a new topic to consider for managing their farm operation. The webinars will cover the major considerations when deciding how to structure a farm business. A bonus session is also scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 (12:00 - 1:00 PM ET) to hear from a farm owner about their experience choosing and managing their business structure.

  • August 1: Choosing Your Farm Business Structure. An overview of the pros and cons of the business structure options and formation requirements. The featured speaker is Tope Fajingbesi of Dodo Farms in Brookeville, MD. Tope is a certified public accountant and an experienced lecturer and advisor on farm business management.

  • August 8: Business Transitions and Estate Planning Considerations. What do you need to know if you want to change your business structure from a sole proprietorship to an LLC? How do you go about adding or removing owners or partners? This session will help answer these questions and more with attorney speakers Heather Yeung, Esq. (Kagan, Stern, Marinello & Beard) and Stephanie Brophy, Esq. (Dulany Leahy Curtis & Brophy LLP).

  • August 15: Figuring Out Farm Business Insurance Needs. During this session Associate Commissioner Robert Baron of the Property & Casualty Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration will cover commercial insurance options for business risk management and provide tips on assessing your coverage needs and communicating with your insurance agent.

  • August 22: Understanding Tax & Accounting for Your Business Structure. Small Business Consultant and Certified Public Accountant Chukwunwike Onuaku (The W2 Group, LLC) will cover the basics of business accounting and the tax implications associated with the various business forms. Anyone with questions about business tax filing or how to choose an accountant for a farm business won’t want to miss this session!

  • August 29: Putting It Together - Nonprofits. This session will begin with a quick recap of the characteristics of a nonprofit business but will mainly focus on a farmer speaker who will discuss their business journey establishing a nonprofit farm, including why they chose the business structure, biggest challenges, and lessons learned.

  • August 31: Putting It Together with Butterbee Farms, LLC. This session will begin with a quick recap of the characteristics of an LLC business but will mainly focus on Laura Resnick of Butterbee Farms, LLC who will discuss their business journey establishing an LLC, including why they chose an LLC structure, biggest challenges, and lessons learned.

Registration is free. Anyone interested in attending any of the sessions can register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/alei-august-webinar-series-2022-403099 or contact Megan Todd at motodd@law.umaryland.edu.


This work is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant no. 2021-49400-35619 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.