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Regulatory Handbook -> Agricultural Product Requirements -> Commission Merchant's License

Commission Merchant's License

(Agricultural Products)

What is the Purpose of this License?
The purpose of the Commission Merchants Act is to protect producers, buyers, and sellers of agricultural products against illegal practices. The license categories are:

Commission Merchant - means any person who receives any agricultural product on consignment for sale or processing for sale, accepts any agricultural product in trust for sale, or in any way handles any agricultural product for the account of the consignor. Bonds are on a sliding scale and actual bond requirement will be based on the annual volume of proceeds returned to consignors.
Dealer - means any person who buys, agrees to buy, or solicits or contracts for title, possession or control of, any agricultural product for the purpose of reselling or processing for resale. A dealer/order buyer in livestock must furnish a federal (Packers and Stockyards Administration) bond in the minimum amount of $10,000 in lieu of the state bond. Bonds are on a sliding scale and actual bond requirement will be based upon the annual gross dollar volume of Washington agricultural purchases.
Limited Dealer - Dealers using this category must file an affidavit setting forth maximum monthly purchases and must make payment for purchases at the time of taking possession of the product.
Cash Buyer - means any person who buys produce, for the purpose of reselling, by paying CASH (no personal or business checks) at the time of taking possession of the product. A cash buyer may not deal in livestock, hay, grain, or straw. A cashier's check, certified check, or bank draft may be used in lieu of cash.
Broker - means any person who negotiates the purchase or sale of any agricultural product. No broker may handle the agricultural products involved or the proceeds of such sale.

Who Issues this License?
Washington State Department of Agriculture
What Activities Require this License?
Individuals and businesses who receive on consignment, take possession or control of, or act as brokers in the resale or processing of unprocessed agricultural products.
How Much Will this License Cost?
Commission Merchant $605 Dealer $605 Limited Dealer $335 Broker $405 Cash Buyer $135 Additional license per class $25 A 25% late renewal penalty of the total license amount is assessed if renewal is received after December 31 of each year.
Where Can I Get the Application for this License?
The application which is called 'Application for License under the Washington Commission Merchants Act (RCW 20.01)' is online and can be accessed at https://agr.wa.gov/services/licenses-permits-and-certificates/summary-descriptions#C.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Payment and evidence of bond coverage, or other acceptable form of security, is required with the application.
Is the Decision on my License Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
The bond coverage amount must be sufficient based on purchase volume. Minimum bond requirements are established based on the agricultural products handled by the applicant.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Complete applications will be processed in approximately seven days.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Applications can be obtained online at: https://agr.wa.gov/services/licenses-permits-and-certificates/summary-descriptions#C and renewal applications at: https://agr.wa.gov/services/licenses-permits-and-certificates/summary-descriptions#C and submitted by mail to: WSDA, PO Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560.
How Long is my License Valid?
The license period is January 1 through December 31 of each year.
What is the Appeal Process for the License?
Upon notice by the Department to deny, suspend, or revoke a license, a person may request a hearing under chapter 34.05 RCW, the Administrative Procedures Act.
Notes / Comments:
The renewal application is available online at https://agr.wa.gov/services/licenses-permits-and-certificates/summary-descriptions#C.
Where can I get permitting assistance?
Helpdesk phone: (360) 902-1857
Subject matter expert phone: (509) 249-6961
Subject matter expert email: bradke@agr.wa.gov
Statewide Contact:
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Weights and Measures Program
1111 Washington Street SE
PO Box 42560
Olympia, WA 98504-2560
Telephone: (360) 902-1800
Toll Free: 1-800-833-6388
Fax: (360) 902-2092
Website: http://agr.wa.gov/
* Permit information last updated 11/21/2019
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