Delaware Department of

Licenses & Permits

The Delaware Department of Agriculture issues a variety of licenses and permits, including Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), timber harvest permits and exotic animal permits. The full list of licenses and permits include:


The Nutrient Management Commission assists farmers with obtaining Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) permits and can answer questions about current regulations and frequently asked questions (including what qualifies as a CAFO).


A Pesticide Business License is required to apply pesticides in Delaware to the property of another for compensation.

Pesticide Dealer Permits are also required to sell restricted-use pesticides in Delaware.

Nursery and Plant Dealers

Nursery Industry License – The Plant Industries Section licenses businesses that grow, distribute or sell nursery stock, Christmas trees and cut flowers.

State Phytocanitary Certificates – The Plant Industries Section certifies shipments of plants and plant parts going to states who require the shipments to be free of specific pests and diseases.

Ribes Permits – Delaware residents who possess plants in the genus Ribes (gooseberries and currents) must obtain a permit. This permit is required by regulation to reduce the spread of White Pine Blister Rust, which Ribes plants can carry.

Honeybee Colony Entry Permits – The State Apiarist issues Entry Permits to beekeepers wanting to move honey bee colonies into Delaware.

Hemp – Hemp producers, processors, and handlers are have specific guidelines and forms that must be completed in order to participate in the program.

SLF Permitting – Any person conducting business requiring the movement of any regulated item within or from the quarantine area, which includes Delaware in its entirety, must be permitted, including businesses, municipalities, and government agencies.


Timber Harvesting Permit – The Delaware Forest Service requires a harvest permit for any timber harvest greater than one acre to ensure that the harvests comply with all applicable laws.

General Business

The Weights and Measures Section issues Weighmaster Licenses to operators of commercial vehicle weighing scales.

Dealers in Agricultural Products – Any dealer in agricultural products that transacts business with producers and/or auction markets in Delaware must have an Agricultural Dealer License.


Exotic Animal Permits – Anyone living in Delaware who wishes to own or care for an animal not native to Delaware must have an Exotic Animal Permit for each animal from the department.

Livestock Dealer’s License – Any person buying or selling livestock or poultry must have a Dealer’s License.

Horse Racing

The Delaware Harness Racing Commission (DHRC) issues licenses for many professions within the harness racing industry, including horse owners, trainers, drivers, grooms, and track personnel who fall under the umbrella of pari-mutuel racing.

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission (DTRC) receives applications for occupational licenses within Delaware’s thoroughbred industry, including horse owners, trainers, track personnel, jockey’s, jockey agents, exercise persons, stable employees, vendors, Veterinarians and their assistants, farriers, racing officials, partnerships, stable names, and authorized agents.

Food Products (Livestock, Meat and Poultry)

The Department’s Food Products Inspection Section issues Meat and Poultry Products Establishment Licenses to establishments that slaughter livestock or poultry and/or prepare, buy, sell, transport, or store any livestock or poultry products for human consumption. This also includes businesses that buy, sell, or transport any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock or poultry that died by means other than slaughter.

Pet Feeds

Commercial feeds and pet foods are required to be registered with the Agriculture Compliance Section.


Commercial fertilizers, soil conditioners and liming materials must be registered with the Agriculture Compliance Section.

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