WEB EXCLUSIVE: Starting an Agritourism Operation

Potential permits and licenses, and resources.

By Deborah Huso

While Long Acres Ranch has benefited from their affiliation with Texas A&M when it comes to licensing, permitting, and insurance (see their story here), keep in mind that starting an eco-tourism operation on your property could require some special permits or licenses at the state or local level. “It’s going to depend on what kind of specific operations you want to do,” Long Acres Program Coordinator James Kidda explains.

Here are some permits/licenses/insurance items to consider:

  • Business registration with federal, state, and/or local government agencies
  • Special use permits in the event your property’s zoning doesn’t specifically allow an ecotourism operation
  • Special permits for pumping water from a river
  • Water and sewage permits if adding onto or building structures with restrooms, kitchens, etc.
  • Liability insurance (to cover employees and guests on your ranch)
  • State license to display stuffed fauna or their bones

For more advice on permits and licensing, contact Miles Phillips, Nature Tourism Program Director for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension at 979-845-1023 or

For More Information

Long Acres Ranch
Richmond, Tex.