Do You Need a License to Sell Worms? (Permit Requirements)

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Conducting thorough research is essential before venturing into new businesses. And that goes for starting a worm farm business too!

Do you need a permit or license to start your own business selling worms and associated products like worm tea and worm castings? Let’s give you the short answer before going into detail..

Whether you need a license or permit to start selling worms is mostly dependent on your location and you should check your local authority for specific advice.

For example, many states require businesses that sell food products (yes, people do eat worms!) or livestock to obtain a license from the health department.

Similarly, if you plan to sell worms for fishing bait to bait shops or worm castings for composting, you will likely need to obtain a permit from the state wildlife agency.

Each state will have a different website, for example, in California, you’d visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife here.

We can’t give specific advice for every country or state on the planet, as you’ll understand but let’s look at some things to consider and explore some more frequently asked questions..

Why Might You Need Licenses to Sell Worms?

This is because worms are considered an essential component of urban agriculture, and their sale may be regulated to prevent them from causing harm to local ecosystems or spreading disease and pathogens.

It may also depend on the products or service you plan to offer.

There may be specific regulations and safety measures in place that you must adhere to, especially when selling livestock.

In some cases, you may need both a license and a permit.

Before starting your business, check with the appropriate agencies to determine what requirements apply to your situation.

In this article, we will try to show you how and cover some common questions related to starting a business selling worms.

Do You Need a License Sell Worms Locally? (How to Find Out)

As we’ve mentioned, before starting a worm business for profit, it is important to check with your local authority for their regulations to see if you need a license or permit.

Don’t land yourself in hot water!

Some cities or counties may require small business owners to obtain a general business license, while others may have specific regulations in place for businesses that sell products and animals like you’re planning to.

The best way to check this is:

  • Go to Google
  • Type in the name of the state you live in (or country/city)
  • Then paste “wildlife agency” after it
  • Click “search” and you’ll likely find your local authority website that will answer the question “do you need license to sell worms?”

Worms are an excellent micro-business to have if you’re just getting started with little money.

They’re high in demand, easy to set up and provide a lot of leeway when starting a business, since the startup cost may be close to free!

Selling worms for cash gives a small business owner a chance to earn good money and even scale up their worm farm further.

Worms are tiny, quiet, and make a variety of goods from free waste materials that you can sell to provide a varied income.

What Types of Worms Can You Sell?

Again, we have to start this section by stressing BEFORE you start, it is important to check with your local regulations to see if you need a license.

It is always best to check with your local authorities to find out what the requirements are in your area.

Here are four common types of worms that people use and may buy from a worm business:

  • Composting Worms – These are the most popular worm type that make up worm sales (besides fish bait), such as red worms, that help turn kitchen scraps and other organic waste into nutrient-rich compost for gardens.
  • Fish Bait Worms – These include nightcrawlers, red wigglers, and other earth worms. They’re used as bait for fresh and saltwater fishing.
  • Feeder Worms – These are small worms fed to pet reptiles, birds, and fish as a source of food.
  • Pet Worms – These are earthworms that are often kept as pets. It’s rare and you’ll sell more worms to composters looking to turn organic matter into worm castings and also fishermen, but they don’t require much care and can be fun to watch as they move around.

Can You Sell Worms Online Without a Permit?

If you plan to sell worms online, you will need to check the laws of the state where you reside and where your customer lives.

Some states have laws prohibiting the sale of live bait worms across state lines.

So, if you live in a state that requires a permit to sell worms and your customer lives in a place that does not have this requirement, you will still need to obtain a license before selling worms or worm castings.

What Kind of Permit or License do You Need to Sell Worms in the US?

Each state will have different rules and regulations.

You might not need “permission” to sell worms but, at the very least, you’ll likely need a license or permit just to sell anything in general under a business name.

Every state will be different so follow our guide above for checking your local regulations.

If your state requires customers to pay sales tax on worms, then you’ll obviously need to get a sales tax permit too.

You may also find rules as granular as those specific to your neighborhood or town.

Some will have restrictions with signage, advertising and even selling from your property, so be sure to check as locally as in your town.

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What Kind of License do You Need to Sell Worms in Canada?

During our research, we found that there aren’t currently any regulations against earthworm sellers in Canada, or at least in Ontario, as per this government guide.

However, as with the US, you can land yourself in hot water if you sell earthworms from your house or property while putting up signage to let customers know worms are sold there.

These 8 and 10 year old children found out the hard way that what they were doing wasn’t legal and were fined $250 a day! (No, I’m not kidding – see here)

What Kind of Licence do You Need to Sell Worms in the UK?

No law in the United Kingdom requires businesses to obtain a permit or license to sell worms but you are governed by regulations.

This is a helpful guide.

However, it is essential to check with your local council to see if there are any restrictions on selling bait worms in your area.

For example, some councils in England have banned the sale of live bait worms due to the risk of spreading invasive species.

So, if you plan to sell worms in the UK, check with your local council first to ensure that you are not breaking any laws.


Do you need a license or permit to sell worms?

Most places will require at least a basic seller’s permit or other licenses.

Making money in any business designed for profit will almost always require some form of licence/permit or registration so you can charge sales tax, pay tax, declare both business and personal assets, hire employees etc.

Always be wary of tax law where you live and don’t get yourself in trouble by winging it.

Good luck if you decide to turn your hobby into a business and may you get many happy clients, customers and profit!

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