Running a Successful Farm Business


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Running a Successful Farm Business

Regional Markets Program Lead: Laura Raymond
General Phone: (206) 256-6157 
smallfarms@agr.wa.gov

4. Licensing


Washington State law requires certain licenses and permits for farm and food businesses, depending on the type of farm or food business you operate, what products you sell, where and how you sell your products, and possibly even production methods (e.g., pesticide application).

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5. Financing Your Farm


Whether you are considering starting a new venture or expanding your existing farm business, access to adequate capital can be a challenge. To address this need, there are loan and grant programs designed specifically for farm and food businesses.

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6. Taxes


Like any small business, farmers are liable for paying a variety of taxes. These are determined by variables such as whether or not you own your land, have employees, sell non-food items, and where and how you sell your farm products. There are also some farm exemptions from paying taxes.

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7. Insurance


When accidents or natural disasters happen, farm and food businesses need business tools such as insurance to cover physical damage and loss of income. Insurance can also help minimize your liability, legal fees, possible interruptions to your business, and even negative publicity. It can help you weather disruptions from natural disasters, accidents, and in some cases market devaluation. Insurance may be required by your lender or buyers.

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8. Labor on the Farm


Labor laws can be challenging to understand, especially for seasonal and family businesses. The following information and regulations are for every classification of worker you might have on your farm. As an employer, farms have legal responsibilities when hiring employees, interns, apprentices and volunteers.

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