Are you interested in starting a horse boarding business? If you have a love for horses and want to make a living spending a great deal of time with these animals, then owning and running a horse boarding business is an appealing and rewarding proposition. In addition to knowing the basics of equine law, it’s important that you take the proper legal steps to minimize both the hassle and the risk involved in running a horse boarding business.
The facility you choose to operate your boarding business must comply with certain regulations for the safety of the horses, customers, staff, and yourself. Check with your state regarding state and local regulations to ensure you are in compliance with these rules. For starters, you must have a business license and operate your facility in accordance with zoning regulations. The facility must be deemed safe for horses and staff and there may be a limit as to the number of boarders you can legally take on.
**Obtain the Proper Insurance **
Don’t make the mistake that many make in thinking that property insurance is enough to cover your business. Property insurance protects against certain risks to property such as theft, fire, and some weather damage. In addition to property insurance, you need to obtain commercial liability insurance and care, custody, or control insurance. Commercial liability insurance protects your business and employees against bodily injury and property damage claims. Care, custody or control coverage covers those who care for non-owned horses. If you board or train someone else’s horse, the policy covers you in the instance of injury, theft, or death of horses while in your care, custody, or control.
Create Liability Release Agreements
Anyone interested in riding or working a horse on-premise should be required to sign a liability release. This includes boarders, students, family, friends – anyone who visits your property. A liability release discourages people from suing you and protects you in the instance that you actually are sued. A liability release informs visitors of the risks of the activity and the signer must agree to accept those risks.
Develop Horse Boarding Contracts
A horse boarding contract outlines all the services your business provides and the expectations with boarders. It protects you in the instance that a boarder breaks the agreement, such as failing to pay. Every client should sign this contract at the beginning of the boarding relationship.
In addition to the above important legal steps, other vital steps to take include:
• Screen Potential Boarders: Don’t accept just anyone. Perform a reference and credit check to save yourself any trouble.
• Terminate Bad Boarders: Evict boards who don’t pay, cannot get along with others, or who don’t abide by the contract.
To ensure you have the necessary legal documents to safeguard you and your business, it’s encouraged to visit a nearby Los Angeles law firm and speak to an equine lawyer. They will make sure you take the proper legal precautions.