Once I started law school, there were a few changes I urged my parents to make to our farming operation. They needed to have written lease agreements, which fully spelled out our rights and responsibilities, with any landowners from whom they were renting farmland. They should get waivers of liability or license agreements with anyone they allowed onto our property, such as hunters or snowmobilers. Most importantly, they needed to adopt a more sophisticated business entity structure, such as a corporation or a limited liability company. As a practicing lawyer, I understand even better how important these things are to any family farm.
Unfortunately for farmers in nine states, the ability to take advantage of a business entity status is extremely limited.
This includes North Dakota. In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, the state adopted the Corporate or Limited Liability Company in Farming law.
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[This article was originally published on AGDAILY as a guest column.]