Overview of Industry
Many farms are finding unique ways to utilize their land and maximize revenue. As a professional vintner, brewer, distiller or a family farm owner adjusting to the times, there is no denying that Agritourism is flourishing in Virginia.
VF&N’s Agritourism Law Group is a comprehensive suite of legal services in response to the changing needs of our region’s farms. Our attorneys have experience in the industry to include; a degree from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Co-Presenter of “Agritourism as a Growth Initiative” at the National Local Government Attorneys conference and serving agritourism clients for over 20 years with a reputation of high-quality service and a shared passion for helping our clients thrive.
Protect Your Investments and Legacy
Agritourism business comes with a unique set of liabilities. One piece of land can serve many purposes from a working farm, a family home, to an event venue. This multipurpose use requires additional consideration to shield each aspect from increased risk related to the other uses.
VF&N attorneys can design asset protection planning strategies that help limit liability in your business and preserve your legacy to be passed down for generations to come. These may include:
- Creating holding and operating companies
- Developing trademark and branding strategies
- Establishing conservation easements
- Negotiating asset-backed loans terms
- Reviewing partner agreements
Change the Use of Your Land
Changing how you use your land can expose your business to a whole new set of laws, regulations, and tax issues. If you are expanding and purchasing additional land, you cannot be guaranteed that a real estate agent is considering all legal concerns such as zoning regulations. Having land you can’t use is an agribusiness’ worst nightmare. Seeking legal counsel early in the planning process can aid in avoiding expensive mistakes. When acquiring land or changing the use of land, our attorneys can:
- Review local zoning regulations to ensure compliance
- Advise you on land use tax implications
- Prepare applications for special use permits and assist in other zoning requirements
Manage Relationships with Local and Federal Government
Regulation and red tape are inevitable, but the process shouldn’t feel impossible. Often Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries find themselves hitting a brick wall over parking, traffic, signage, special events or unhappy neighbors.
The path to resolution can be unclear but with many seasoned local government attorneys on staff, VF&N skillfully navigates the nuances of working with a local government. We can produce faster turnaround than going at it yourself, and often preserve valuable community relationships.
We assist you by maintaining compliance with the necessary federal and state regulatory boards required to lawfully and profitably conduct business in Virginia. From labeling to on-site food production, including:
- Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VABC)
- Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)
- Virginia Department of Taxation (DOT)
- Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
Having a firm grasp on the legal responsibilities of workforce management can help you minimize financial risks and maintain a solid foundation. Whether you have a handful of employees in a tasting room or large team working the farm, you can turn to the employment attorneys at VF&N as your trusted advisors.
We are there for you on the day-to-day challenges you face, such as: seasonal workers, visas, exemptions, tips and wages, termination and discipline, and harassment. Our employment law team can help protect against future risk or, if the situation should arise, responsive to a one-off claim that requires an independent investigation like embezzlement or harassment allegations.