Dairy Business Licensing
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Overview

Any person who receives, purchases, handles, or sells fluid cows’ milk needs a milk dealer's license.  The law defines a person as any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, limited partnership, association, limited liability company, cooperative cooperation, or unincorporated cooperative association.

Get Licensed

A license is valid for one year. The initial license fee is $100. For license renewals, the fee is adjusted, if necessary, depending on the volume of milk handled the preceding year. The $100 fee covers a dealer who handles up to 4,000 pounds per day during the highest month of the year.  For each additional 4,000 pounds of milk handled per day; the license fee increases $40 up to a maximum of $7,500.

Any milk used to make manufactured products is excluded from license fee computation.  If all the milk is used in manufacturing, the license fee is a flat $100.

New milk dealer license applications and license renewals are reviewed and evaluated in terms of financial responsibility, character, and ability or performance of the applicant in conducting the proposed business and providing service to the public. Dairy markets and milk dealer performance are monitored to determine adequacy of service by dealers and the vitality of market competition. Changes in the organization and structure of the dairy industry and in the business operations of licensees require continuing review and updating of licensing procedures.

Find Your Business Type

Click on the business types below to learn what specific requirements apply to your business type.

Exemptions from Licensing

There are some exemptions to licensing requirements. These may include:

  • Milk dealers who handle less than 3,000 pounds of milk per month.
  • Producers who handle less than 3,000 pounds of milk per month and:
    • Do not deliver their own milk from the farm to the plant.
    • Do not operate a plant using milk produced on their own farm.
    • Do not distribute packaged fluid milk if milk is processed by another plant operator.
  • Stores that do not engage in the customary functions of a milk dealer, including:
    • Stores that handle less than 3,000 pounds of milk per month.
    • Stores that do not distribute milk.
    • Stores that do not operate a milk processing plant.
    • Stores that do not sell milk to other stores.

Note: Stores that handle potentially hazardous foods including milk, shell eggs, and refrigerated meats need an Article 28 Food License.