business development

Expanding Kansas Agriculture to Respond to Booming Brewery Business

The microbrewery industry in Kansas is growing faster than ever with demand higher than supply across the state.  The Kansas legislature is attempting to respond with bills aimed at bolstering the microbrew and cider production business, but growing production will increasingly burden the already short supply of ingredients such as hops, barley, and fruits.  Kansas farmers are in a unique position to capitalize on an industry that is not only booming in Kansas but across the nation.

Before Kansas farmers jump into hop farming, some considerations regarding the unique hop farm industry should be addressed.  Hops are a fickle plant that often do not produce a significant crop until their third year.  Forward hop contracting is a system that helps to protect the farmer making such a long-term investment.  Forward hop contracts for Kansas farmers ensure that a brewing operation will purchase a set tonnage of hops produced by the farmer in the next 1-2 years.  Having contracts such as this in place helps to protect the up-front investment made by farmers as well as helps the breweries plan ahead knowing a reliable hop producer is in their corner.  These contracts need to be planned through completely with both parties; simply signing the contract produced by the other party may not protect your operation and investment adequately and reviewing the agreement with your attorney is highly advised.

Kansas has never been widely known for its fruit harvest, but changing cider production laws may boost the niche Kansas fruit farming market.  Cider is produced from the fermentation of fruit and a new Kansas law currently going through the legislature states that cider produced in Kansas must contain at least 30% local Kansas fruit.  Like hops, most fruit crops are long-term investments such as orchard trees or grape vines.  Acquiring and expanding an existing orchard or vineyard may be a better choice than starting from scratch.  When your existing farm operation merges or acquires existing fruit production farms, the merger or acquisition needs to be structured carefully to protect the individual interests at play.  Taking on debts or liabilities of an existing company is a large undertaking that can leave your business exposed to lawsuits or unplanned monetary obligations.

The brewery and cider industry in Kansas is a great opportunity for Kansas farmers to respond to the needs of a new industry and support the Kansas economy.  Keeping production local is a benefit to the farmer, brewer, and consumer as well as the state as a whole.  If you have questions or concerns about expanding your agriculture operation to support the Kansas microbrewery and cider production industry, call The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert for an absolutely free consultation to help address your concerns and see if the move is right for you.  A qualified attorney in your corner can make all the difference in a successful venture.

Starting Your Dental/Orthodontics Practice: Cleaning and Straightening Your Business Planning

Making the decision to open your own dental or orthodontics practice is a big one.  However, it is just the first in a long list of hard decisions that you now face as a dental practice owner.  An attorney specializing in highly regulated industries, such as dental and other medical fields, can help advise you on those decisions and what suits your needs the best.

A choice of entity serves as a great starting point for your budding practice.  Whether an LLC, Corporation, or Partnership suits your needs will vary depending on what you want to do.  In fact, practicing as a sole proprietor under your own professional trade name may be the best option in some cases.  When you speak with your attorney about what kind of entity you choose to form, be sure to have an idea of where you would like the business to be in 5-10 years: Do you want to partner with a fellow dentist down the road, add separate additional services, or merge with another practice?

Organizing your business and the policies that govern how your practice operates is absolutely crucial.  The operating agreement and in-house practice policies will be the guidebook you use to run your office.  Do you know the laws that govern the permitted practices of dental assistants or dental hygienists and is that line clearly enumerated in your employment policy handbook? What constitutes the unauthorized practice of dentistry and how is your practice structured to best prevent it from happening? Obviously, having the policies and laws written down in a book may not prevent mistakes from being made.  However, having these policies in clearly written forms with mandatory safeguards in place will certainly lessen the probability.

The discussion of in-house policy and procedures goes hand in hand with your employee and independent contractor agreements and contracts.  As a practicing professional these concerns are rampant, especially for a growing and successful practice.  Knowing the differences between certain employer relationships and structuring your contracts to custom fit your needs and goals may save you headaches and potentially thousands of dollars down the road.  Using an employee or independent contractor contract form you printed from a Google search may seem convenient at first, but the money you believe you saved will pale in comparison to the potential consequences later on.

Clearly, there are a multitude of concerns facing dentists and orthodontists who choose to strike out on their own.  The structure and planning of your practice will serve as the foundation that your business builds on for years to come and should not be taken lightly.  If you are serious about wanting to someday run a successful dental practice, forming a relationship with an attorney from the very beginning will help to protect that dream.  Working with a trusted and knowledgeable attorney saves time, money, and hassle and we are ready to help.