Legal Structure of Farmers’ Markets

Rincker Law Food & Ag Law Leave a Comment

Kudos to Erin Kee and Jason Foscolo for co-authoring this substantive article on the the choices of entities for farmers’ markets.  I’m teaching the undergraduate food law course at New York University this semester.  Today, I am lecturing on direct farm marketing and local food law.  Erin and Jason’s article was included in the “recommended reading” for today’s lecture.

I think Erin and Jason did a nice job breaking down the various types of tax exempt organizations.  It is a misconception that all not-for-profits are and should be a 501(c)(3); most not-for-profit organizations, including those that manage farmers’ markets, simply are not eligible to be one.  I think most farmers’ markets fit nicely into the 501(c)(5) tax exempt category for agriculture and horticulture organizations.  That said, donations made to a 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(5) are not charitable contributions for tax purposes; however, businesses are able to receive tax deductions for ordinary business expenses.

If you are considering starting a farmers’ market in your neck of the woods, please talk to a food and agriculture lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction.

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *