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Do You Need a License to Sell Worms in 2023?

Selling worms in the United States doesn’t really necessitate a license, but it depends on the local or state laws where you plan on selling them. Several states might demand that you apply for a permit or license before collecting, transporting, or selling live bait.

To identify the appropriate obligations in your area, contact your state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife or Agriculture.

Worms are a widely known bait for fishing, and several individuals also use them for composting. One critical aspect to take into account is if you will be selling native or non-native worms. Native worms are the ones that exist in a specific area, whereas non-native worms are those that were added to a region.

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It should be noted that selling non-native worms might necessitate obtaining a license or permit from the state or federal government to guarantee that they would not damage the environment or contend with native species. Another consideration is if you plan on selling worms as meals for animals.

If you sell worms as pet food, you might require a license from the government of the state or the nation, contingent on the household pets you sell them to. In many states, selling worms to be utilized as fishing bait or composting material doesn’t really necessitate a license.

Nevertheless, it is often important to verify with your local government to make sure that you are in accordance with any applicable regulations. It’s also critical to make sure that the worms you’re selling are healthy and free of any illnesses or pathogens that might cause damage to the environment or the creatures that consume them.

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License and Permits Needed to Sell Worms

  1. Business License

Before you can sell worms, you must first procure a business license from your state or municipality. The procedure for acquiring a business license varies greatly depending on where you live, but it usually entails having to register your company and paying a fee. This license would then permit you to legally run your worm-selling business.

How to Apply
  • Investigate local as well as state laws and regulations.
  • Select a business structure.
  • Register your company.
  • Obtain all required permits and licenses.
  • Obtain a tax identification number.
  • Establish a business bank account.
  • Purchase commercial insurance.
  • Begin selling.
  1. Sales Tax Permit

Before selling worms in almost all states, you must additionally acquire a sales tax permit. This license permits you to receive as well as remit sales tax on worm sales. To acquire a sales tax permit, you must first register with your state’s revenue department as well as provide details regarding the company, including its name, address, or even the types of products you sell.

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How to Apply
  • Determine which state(s) you will sell worms in.
  • Register your company with the state(s) within which you intend to sell worms.
  • Procure a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Register for sales tax inside the state(s) within which you intend to sell worms.
  • Ascertain the tax rate(s) for any state(s) in which you intend to sell worms.
  • Begin gathering as well as remitting sales tax on worm sales.
  • Maintain complete documents of any and all sales and tax payments.
  1. Health Permit

Certain states mandate health permits for enterprises that sell live animals, which include worms. The above permit guarantees that the worms you sell are in excellent health and free of pathogens that could be passed on to people or other animals.

  1. Fish Bait Dealer License

If you plan to sell worms specifically for use as fish bait, you may need to obtain a fish bait dealer license. This license is required in some states and allows you to sell worms specifically for use in fishing. The requirements for obtaining a fish bait dealer license vary by state but typically involve paying a fee and submitting to an inspection.

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How to Apply
  • Check the state regulations
  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Complete the application
  • Pay the fee
  • Obtain necessary permits
  • Pass an inspection
  1. USDA Permit

If you intend to sell worms for the purpose of feeding them to living creatures including reptiles or birds, you might be required to get a license from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This license guarantees that all worms you sell are okay for animal consumption as well as comply with the required quality and safety standards. The USDA permit requirements differ depending on the specific worms you intend to sell and their envisioned use.

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How to Apply
  • Ascertain whether you require a permit.
  • Fill out the application
  • Provide documentation.
  • You must pay the fee.
  • Allow time for approval.


In conclusion, if you intend to sell worms within the United States, you’ll need to have a business license, a sales tax permit, as well as, based on your business model, a health permit, a fish bait dealer license, or a USDA permit. To prevent legal troubles, it is critical to investigate the particular criteria in your region and make sure that you adhere to all relevant legislation.