Last Updated: May 14, 2024, 11:41 am by TRUiC Team

Should I Start an LLC for My Corn Maze?

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) for your corn maze can provide several benefits. 

Most importantly, an LLC structure offers limited liability to its owners, which can protect their personal assets from lawsuits and creditors.

For a corn maze business, lawsuits can arise from things like customers getting lost or from customers getting injured as a result of a poorly-designed layout. 

LLCs are also affordable, highly flexible (from a tax point-of-view), and can make your corn maze seem more credible. 

Recommended: Use Northwest to form an LLC for $29 (plus state fees).

A path in a corn maze

Do I Need an LLC for a Corn Maze?

LLCs are a simple and inexpensive way to protect your personal assets and save money on taxes.

You should form an LLC when there's any risk involved in your business and/or when your business could benefit from tax options and increased credibility.

LLC Benefits for a Corn Maze

By starting an LLC for your corn maze, you can:

  • Protect your savings, car, and house with limited liability protection
  • Have more tax benefits and options
  • Increase your business’s credibility

Limited Liability Protection

LLCs provide limited liability protection. This means your personal assets (e.g., car, house, bank account) are protected in the event your business is sued or if it defaults on a debt.

Corn mazes will benefit from liability protection because of the risk of injuries to customers and employees. 

Example 1: When a customer visits a petting zoo that’s partnered with your corn maze, they get exposed to a strain of E. coli and contract an illness. As a result, they file a lawsuit against your business seeking medical damages. Since your business is registered as an LLC, your personal assets will remain protected, regardless of how the claim progresses.

Example 2: A customer falls and fractures their wrist whilst sprinting through your corn maze. Since you warn all customers to refrain from running before they begin, you refuse to offer any sort of compensation. If a legal claim were to arise against your business, your personal assets would remain safe as long as it wasn’t your personal negligence that caused the claimant injury.

Example 3: You acquire a small loan from a previous partner in order to invest it in PPC ads and expand your corn maze’s online presence. Since the agreement was made between your LLC and the lender — and you didn’t personally guarantee it — you will not be found liable if your business cannot pay the lender back.

Example 4: A guest trips and falls while exploring your corn maze, resulting in a broken ankle. They sue your business, claiming that you did not provide a safe environment.

An LLC will also protect your personal assets in the event of commercial bankruptcy or loan default.

To maintain your LLC's limited liability protection, you must maintain your LLC's corporate veil.

LLC Tax Benefits and Options for a Corn Maze

LLCs, by default, are taxed as a pass-through entity, just like a sole proprietorship or partnership. This means that the business's net income passes through to the owner's individual tax return. 

The business’s net income is then subject to income taxes (based on the owner's tax bracket) and self-employment taxes.

Sole proprietorships and partnerships are taxed in a similar way to LLCs, but they do not offer limited liability protection or other tax options.

S Corp Option for LLCs

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status that an LLC can elect. S corp status allows business owners to be treated as employees of the business (for tax purposes).

S corp tax status can reduce self-employment taxes and will allow business owners to contribute pre-tax dollars to 401k or health insurance premiums.

The S corp status requires that the business pay the employee-owner(s) a reasonable salary for the work they perform. 

In addition, the business might need to spend more on accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services. To offset these costs, you'd need to be saving about $2,000 a year on taxes.

We estimate that if a corn maze owner can pay themselves a reasonable salary and at least $10,000 in distributions each year, they could benefit from S corp status.

You can start an S corp when you form your LLC. Our How to Start an S Corp guide will lead you through the process.

Credibility and Consumer Trust

Corn mazes rely on consumer trust. Credibility plays a key role in creating and maintaining any business.

Businesses gain consumer trust simply by forming an LLC.

A growing business can also benefit from the credibility of an LLC when applying for small business loansgrants, and credit.

Northwest will start an LLC for you for just $29 (plus state fees).

How to Form an LLC

Forming an LLC is easy. There are two options for forming your LLC:

  • You can hire a trusted LLC formation service to set up your LLC for a small fee
  • Or, you can choose your state from the list below to start an LLC yourself

Select Your State

For most new business owners, the best state to form an LLC in is the state where you live and where you plan to conduct your business.

Do LLCs Need Insurance?

Yes, LLCs — even corn mazes — need business insurance for two reasons:

  • Limited liability does not protect the LLC’s business assets (e.g., land, company vehicles, etc.), only its owners’ assets  
  • Limited liability does not protect its owners from negligent acts or torts that they personally committed. 

Common Situations Business Insurance May Cover for a Corn Maze

Example 1: A group of teenage customers is making their way into the back of your trailer for a haunted corn maze attraction. One of the teens isn’t paying attention and slips on the ramp, cutting her chin on the metal. She requires immediate medical attention and demands that your business pays for her hospital stay. Your general liability policy will likely cover the treatment and any other associated costs.

Example 2: At the end of the season, you offer a significant discount to local feedlots for the last of the corn stalks. As a customer begins to load his truck, he trips over a stray extension cord and breaks his wrist in the fall. He is angry and threatens to sue you for medical costs and pain and suffering. General liability insurance will help to cover your legal fees and the costs of any settlement that may be awarded.

Example 3: A competing corn maze in your county has filed a lawsuit against you, claiming that you libeled their business in your latest television commercial. You don’t believe your ad was offensive in any way but want to seek out an excellent legal defense team. Your general liability policy will likely pay for your legal costs, including the cost of a settlement if necessary.

Other Types of Coverage Corn Mazes Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all corn mazes should obtain:

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance coverage is likely required in your state for any company with part-time and/or full-time employees. Your employees face a unique set of risks when they come to work each day. If they are injured or become ill as a result of a job-related accident, workers’ compensation insurance will cover their medical treatment and any lost wages until they can return to work.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Any vehicles that you use to complete business-related duties, including personal cars, must be covered under a commercial auto insurance policy. This essential coverage works to protect your business and employees in the event of a traffic accident. Commercial auto insurance will not only cover the cost of repairs but will pay for any required medical treatment for your employee and any involved third parties if your employee is found to be at fault.

Commercial Property Insurance

Your corn maze requires a variety of specialized business equipment and supplies to keep operations running smoothly year-round. If any of this equipment is damaged or lost in a fire, it can be difficult to replace it out-of-pocket. Commercial property insurance is designed to cover the loss of your equipment and supplies in the event of a disaster so that you can keep your doors open and protect your bottom line.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Even though you’ve invested in a comprehensive general liability policy, there may come a time when a lawsuit exhausts your primary coverage limits. In this case, commercial umbrella insurance can step in to go above those primary limits and pay for the remaining damages so that you don’t have to.

Should I Start an LLC FAQ

Choosing the right business structure depends on your business’s unique circumstances and needs. However, unless your business is very low risk (like a hobby), an LLC is likely the better option.

Visit our LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship guide to learn more.

Starting a corn maze can be done with around $3,000 to $4,000, depending on whether you already own land or not.

You will need to purchase:

  • Office supplies
  • Crop seeds and maintenance 
  • Registration fees and permits

You will also need to pay for labor (assuming you hire workers), as well as marketing in order to help attract customers to your corn maze.

Visit our How to Start a Corn Maze guide to learn more about the costs of starting and maintaining this business.

The ongoing costs to operate a corn maze include insurance, employee salaries, and equipment maintenance and replacement costs.

Learn more about running a corn maze.

A corn maze business makes money by charging people to walk through its maze.

Learn more about starting a corn maze.

A corn maze is a large maze made entirely of corn, and a corn maze business charges customers to walk through the maze. Corn mazes come in a variety of difficulty levels with some intended just for adults while others suit all ages.

A well-run corn maze can generate a profit margin of at least 50%.

Learn more about starting a corn maze.

Related Articles

Article Sources

IRS: Limited Liability Company

IRS: S Corporations


SBA: Small Business Guide

SBA: Choose a Business Structure Guide

US Census Bureau: Small Business Statistics

SBA Office of Advocacy: Data on Small Business

FRED: SBA Data for Small Business