I own 10acres of land in N. Idaho and I don't owe payments on it. I want to start an ecovillage here and have started finding my people.
My original plan was to have people sign contracts and do background checks to protect all parties involved, with a process that is similar to an official rental agreement with eviction terms and the whole 9yrds, just exchanging work for room and board instead of $. Then I/we would try to get this up and running while I maintain my position as the lead to start (since it is currently my land and too many chiefs gets complicated, especially for something sorta delicate like this, just starting out). Then, once it gets stable, I thought that I might make an LLC and sell shares of it to members with a full consensus governing system. (It will have to remain fairly small since it is only 10acres so I thinn full consensus is *probably* sustainableenough. Looking into it though.) That way too my only asset isn't tied up as an ecovillage if I ever decide to move away, also, and it ideally remains stable and functional if I leave it someday.
My question is, has anyone done it this way and do they have any wisdom to impart?
Also someone pointed out that I should make this be an LLC right away, before I even get people out there, to protecr myself and the property. Then I suppose I could add people to it later?
It would take a lot of extra work but you may want to look at registering an S-Corp as it may save your a ton of taxes in the long term, an S-Corp can also be an LLC. It would also effectively limit shareholders to a maximum of 100 people and require them to be US citizens.
Depends on how you want to protect your income if you are making money off the land.
I would not incorporate in any way shape or form. Instead I would recommend researching becoming a citizen of the state you live in as opposed to holding any national citizenship. There is a huge difference and I believe it will give you what you seek.
We've founded a 501(c)3 for ours but that's because we want our land held in trust so no one person is like "I own the land do what I say". It lets us establish clear consensus or supermajority on all things ecovillage related instead of having a power differential.
Hello, please call me Mouse. Talk to me about rabbits, chickens, and gardens. Starting an intentional community in Ohio.
I would tend to avoid the corp routes (LLC, S-corp, etc) as the IRS paperwork and *fines* structure (late paperwork) is very onerous for small groups of people. It's OK for hundreds of partners in big firms with lots of money, where fines are pocket change ...
If no pressing business reasons (liability and such), perhaps a trust is a much better route ...
Of course, I'm no lawyer, but you want as little to do with them as possible ... they have no problem with taking your land away from you, unlike most any other creditor.
As usual it depends, so can you give us a quick review of what you see the 10acre producing/providing in the long term.
Housing: Are you thinking 10 housing units (each around 850sqft, with 3bedroom), aka 300people, or is it more like just 3unit/10ppl
Market Garden: Are you thinking about a market garden generating revenues of $60,000/acre on 4acres.
Value Added Good: Will there be a bakery, soap-making, wax-making, jam, biochar-kilt, etc. Will you provide these garages/workshops/tools, how much land?
Animal System: Chicken/eggs for everyone on site, how about for sale? How much land will occupy? How about hay-feed sheep/cow? stream for flow thru fish-pond
Craft: Will there be any other cottage industry that you run on-site.
Overall how much income do you see this eco-village generating per year, will it be shared income or independent? Lets say that the 10acres of land is now valued at $100,000 how much will it be worth after all the pastures/fencing, houses, garages, tools and such is installed.
If all you are providing is a campground for folks to park their RV/tinyhouse and yearly lease of 1acres of land. Then I don't think it is worth the hassle of making things super complicated. If someone does get hurt/die on your 10acre property how much do you want to limit your losses during a lawsuit?