Selling seedlings locally (Wisconsin)

Flying_V_GoddessJuly 22, 2013

I've had this idea to grow and sell seedlings from my home or at the local farmers market and finally decided to go with it. I want to know the regulations, licences, and business aspects I need before jumping into this. And its a bit confusing.

I just plan to sell locally. No selling across state lines.

My state's Department of Agriculture page didn't help me a whole lot. It says you don't need a nursery licence for vegetables, but didn't say vegetable *plants*. But it lists you need one to sell fruit trees, but not to sell fruit. I'm assuming I'm going to sell at least $250 worth of plants so I need to know if I need the license.

I tried looking up how much you'd have to sell before you'd have to pay taxes. I just got a lot of nonsense from scam-sounding-business websites that had nothing to do with selling plants or websites that wanted me to pay to get the info I may or may not need.

And I don't plan to "fly under the radar" to avoid getting the license or paying taxes if needed. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to try and get myself out there and go big.

So needless to say....I need a little help on this. If anyone has experience with selling seedlings locally (especially with selling in Wisconsin) I'd much appreciate any sort of advice.

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myfamilysfarm

In Indiana, you need a Retail Merchant Certificate. This will allow you to charge sales tax (plants are taxable here) and it also gives you an sales tax exemption for certain purchases.

As far as how many plants you need to sell to before paying taxes, That would be $.01, check with your State Revenue Office, that also where you would probably get your RMC.

You might also need some local licenses, I don't have to.

Also check your zoning, you might not be able to sell/grow anything from your location.

Is it worth it? Not really, there are so many large/huge people supplying stores at such a low price, it's hard to price your seedlings to compete.

I do this, but mainly I started out growing for myself (I was a large market gardener). I wanted to make sure I had all the plants that I wanted, then I sold the extras off. I could cover my expenses barely, plus my plants were free.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:07PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

If your state is like MN you don't need anything to sell plants. I do record and pay sales tax on plants and cutflowers. I sell plants at market and off Craig's List.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Flying_V_Goddess

Actually, myfamilysfarm, the garden centers here in town are what kept me from going along with this idea earlier. Until I realized they're not selling them all that cheap (up here anyways) and they sell the same generic varieties year after year. My plan is to grow some common varieties everyone will recognize, but also find some interesting varieties that no one else around here will have.

Perhaps I'm being a little optimistic here, but I think in that sense its worth trying. Besides I always grow way more plants than I could possibly need so why not expand on the idea to make a profit from something I love doing?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:41AM
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myfamilysfarm

As long as you realize, they will be your main competition, go for it. I have. Be sure to show your customers, WHY yours are so much better. Such as better root systems, more variety (even if everyone wants certain ones), stronger plants since they have better care than the average store employee, and less chance of diseases (smaller greenhouses usually have a better chance of the person catching it sooner) and possible less chemicals used.

I found out today, that all the plants that I destroyed could have been taken to the food bank in my local town to been given away. Oh well, next year. I'll just ask for the pots back if possible. OR I'll use something else. Pots and labels and the good dirt is the most expensive part of growing, less you have to heat the house.

Marla

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:28PM
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wyobluesky

you might check with the local venders at the farmers markets. We have the option to sell under the farmers markets asso.'s business license. But talking to the local people should give you some good advice.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 12:02PM
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myfamilysfarm

In Indiana, you have to have your own business license, even as a vendor at a farmers market.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:19PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

You also need a growers license the dnr lady told me at inspection this year, not just a nursery dealer license and a tax number. In our state the Department of Natural Resources is the one you need to talk to. It might be the same in your state.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 5:58PM
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myfamilysfarm

that new to me, Sandy. When son was checking out growing trees and shrubs (woody), only thing he found was nurseryman needed, but that was a few years ago.

I've never been inspected, but there is always a first time.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:51AM
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