The development of forming organizations for the purpose of doing business began centuries ago, but the twentieth century witnessed an explosion in both the number and types of business organizations available. From the simplest sole proprietorship to the most complex multinational corporation, the various business structures have evolved to meet the needs of society. The many types of business structures offer the flexibility required to fit the different needs of both business in general and businesses in agriculture specifically. Informal arrangements become sole proprietorships and partnerships, providing structure to business ventures as they grow. More formal arrangements are created at the state or national level, such as limited liability companies and corporations. These business organizations provide stability and protection to investors and officers while establishing guidelines within the organization and under the laws of the states in which they do business. Read the full overview
Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.
Internal Revenue Code, Income Tax, 26 U.S.C. subtitle A.
Internal Revenue Code, Employment Tax, 26 U.S.C. subtitle C.
Aid to Small Business, 15 U.S.C. ch. 14A.
Small Business Investment Program, 15 U.S.C. ch. 14B.
Labor, Title 29 of the U.S.C.
Center Research Publications
State-Specific Direct Marketing Business Guides (National AgLaw Center & U. IL @Urbana)
Legal and Business Guide for Specialty Crop Producers (National AgLaw Center & U. AR Division of Agriculture)
Forms and Filing Information: Business Organizations (Rumley, 2009)
Congressional Research Service Reports
Agricultural Law Bibliography
Legal publications on :
Department of Labor (DOL)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Other Federal Resources
Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (IA St. U.)
Business Organization Forms (Ohio St. U.)
Types of Business Structures (WA State Licensing)
Beginning Farmer: Transfers, Agreements & Structures (Hawbaker, 2008)
Beginning Farmer: Questions to Ask About Partnership (Hawbaker, 2008)
Starting, Organizing, and Managing an LLC for a Farm Business (Moore, 2008)
Using Liability Limiting Entities to Manage Liability Exposure for Ohio Farms (Moore & Ward, 2008)
Transferring Business Ownership (Hofstrand, 2007)
Business Entity Planning (Thompson & Hayenga, 2002)
Selecting a Business Structure (Williams, Barton and Coltrain, 2000)
How to Organize your Business (U. ME Extension)
Business Structure Strategies (Cornell U. Extension)
Ag Decision Tools – New Business Development (IA St. Extension)
Farmdoc Ag Links (U. of IL Extension)
Estate Planning and Business Succession (MI St. Extension)
Starting a Business (Entrepreneur.com)
Business Tools (SCORE:”Counselors to America’s Small Business”)
Ag Decision Tools – New Business Development (IA St. Ext. Ag Decision Maker)
General Partnership Agreements for Cattle Producers (Rincker, 2010)
501(c)(3) – Do You Need It? How To Get It. How To Keep It! (Tarvin & Bridges, U. of AR)
Checklist for Obtaining Tax Exempt Status in Arkansas (Bridges, U. of AR)
Choosing a Business Structure (Sander and Lambert, 2007)
Cooperative Programs (1998)
How to Start a Cooperative (Rapp & Ely, 1996)
The Important Role of Non-Organization Law (Ribstein 2005)