Starting a Farm Business

Choosing a Business Structure/Entity

  • If a Sole Proprietor, file for a DBA – “Doing business as”- this is done at your town office
  • If other than a Sole Proprietor:
    • File for an EIN– Employer Identification Number
    • File for a DUNS number
  • Register with FSA/NRCS– Local Farm Service Agency office

Licenses, Certification

Farmland Access

Inspections

  • Business – freezers
  • Scale
  • Home/Commercial Kitchen
  • Open a Business Checking account
  • Farm Insurance
    • Will need to name farmers markets as additional insured
    • Farm Family is a popular option
  • Labels for meat- Growers Discount Labels a common 
    • GDL will guide you through the process, but the Department of Ag, Conservation, and Forestry will need to approve your label before it is printed and you will need to provide and affidavit to them explaining any claims that you make on your label. 
  • Make meat processing dates now!

Legal and Accounting

  • Legal services and advice:
    • See list above under “Choosing a Business Structure/Entity”
  • Accountants
    • Accountants can file sales/use and other related taxes to the state of Maine for you, as well as annual income taxes, quarterly withholding taxes, annual corporate filings, and even do payroll
    • If a Sole Proprietor, you will need to file a Schedule F with your annual Form 1040 tax form
    • If an LLC partnership, you and your partner will need to file Form1065 annually
    • If an LLC corporation, you will need to file Form 1120 annually
    • If an S Corporation, you will need to file Form 1120-S annually
  • Here are several accounting/payroll services used by MOFGA farmers:

Business and Financial

  • Quickbooks– desktop vs online
    • Julia Shanks – The Farmers Office 
  • Richard Wiswall & other workshops/events

Networking

American Pastured Poultry Association

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