Starting a Business
Proper planning is the key to starting a successful business. The following checklist can serve as a guide for planning:
- Consider your business structure (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership, etc.).
- Register your business with the Secretary of State's Office and receive a Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN) for tax filing purposes.
- Register your business with the Kansas Department of Revenue and receive a tax identification number for remitting sales tax.
- If providing lodging or serving food to your guests, contact with the Kansas Department of Agriculture for the proper inspection and licensing requirements.
- Purchase Liability Insurance coverage.
- Research zoning requirements in your county.
- Prepare business and marketing plans for your company.
Kansas Small Business Development Centers
Growing Kansas' businesses is the primary goal of the Kansas Small Business Development Centers (KSBDC). With locations throughout the state, KSBDC staff work with established firms, growth companies and start-up enterprises. The KSBDC is a great resource to help with a business plan, marketing plans and other business guidance. For more information on the services available through KSBDC, visit http://www.kansassbdc.net/.
As an agritourism business owner, you take on a certain level of risk when you invite visitors onto your property. While you may not have an accident on your farm or ranch, you need to consider how you will manage the risks associated with your agritourism activity.
Layers of Protection
Seven layers of protection can be used to manage the risk of an agritourism business:
- Common Sense
- Statutory Protection (the Agritourism Registration process)
- Warning Signage
- Business Entity (such as LLC, C-Corp., etc.)
- Agritourism Liability Insurance
Purchasing Liability Insurance
It is important to discuss with your insurance agent the various activities that you plan to host at your agritourism business. This will enable your agent to create a package that will work best for you. In addition, your agent can offer advice and strategies to help minimize your risk and make your property safe for guests. In doing so, you demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your guests while educating your agent about your agritourism business.
What is liability insurance?
Traditionally, the standard farm liability policy will not cover the activities of an agritourism business. Liability insurance is a part of the general insurance system of managing risk. It is designed to offer specific protection against third-party claims. In general, damage caused intentionally is not covered under liability insurance policies. When a claim is made, the insurance carrier has the right to defend the insured.
Who needs liability insurance?
Every business should have liability insurance to help protect property and assets. The Kansas Insurance Commissioner's office notes, "Liability Insurance is valuable coverage, because it protects your business from financial loss because of injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by your products, business operations, or employees."
Registering Your Agritourism Business
Register your agritourism business with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). Registering offers the following benefits:
- Limited liability signage through the Agritourism Promotion Act
- Assistance in promotion of agritourism operations
Once approved as a registered agritourism business with KDWPT, you may purchase and post warning signage at your agritourism business. This signage provides that participants at the agritourism business are assuming responsibility of inherent risks. Signs are available for purchase through the Kansas Horse Council or may be manufactured by a sign company of your choice. The sign should read as follows:
"Under Kansas law, there is no liability for an injury or death of a participant in a registered agritourism activity conducted at this registered agritourism location if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of such agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, but shall not be limited to, the potential of you as a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death and the potential of another participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this registered agritourism activity."
For additional information about the warning signage, see Warning Signage Specifications.