Bring up the subject of contracts, record keeping and tax paperwork to someone when they’re just starting homesteading and you’ll likely be ignored.
There’s plenty of time for that.
We aren’t THAT big yet.
I don’t want to bother people with all that legal stuff, it’ll scare them off.
Catch up with that same homesteader a few years later, after they’ve been burned a few times, and their story changes. Almost all will say they wish they’d started on the business side of homesteading earlier. Figured out a bill of sale, boarding agreements, stud services, even how to handle a deposit on a goat.
I am, by no means, a lawyer or legal expert. But, I pieced together basic contracts for my most common needs –
- Sale of An Animal
- Sale of An Animal With A Deposit
- Boarding Agreement
- On Site Breeding Agreement
Part 1 will be the most basic kind you’ll need – a straight sale of an animal. I have multiple versions: one for hogs, goats, sheep, even poultry. No matter which animal it’s for, you’ll want to include the following sections:
- Who’s involved in the deal, both buyer and seller and the contact information.
- A listing of the animal(s) purchased. Include breed, markings, gender, date of birth, registration or tattoo number. Anything which will make it easier to identify the animal later.
- Purchase price
- What you, the seller, guarantee. Example, we guarantee that if you buy a hen and it ends up crowing, we will replace it free of charge. This is included in our poultry contract.
- As much ‘legal’ stuff as you feel you need to be comfortable doing business. This part will evolve over time. Ours includes:
- A section on when the buyer takes possession.
- A section on the buyer assuming the risks after taking possession.
- A section on who pays attorney fees if there are any.
- A section on what jurisdiction any issues would be settled in. We have this as we sit on the border of four counties and three states.
- A section saying this is the entire agreement.
- Signature and name lines for both buyer and seller.
Does your brain hurt yet? The best way to understand all the stuff above is to see it for yourself. Here’s a copy of mine, in what /should/ be an editable form –
Next week – sales with a deposit! Such exciting stuff!