Overview of the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is Wisconsin's primary consumer protection agency and has statutory and rulemaking authority over transactions between businesses and consumers.  These statutes and rules serve as a framework that allows legitimate businesses to flourish, and provides consumers with confidence in the marketplace. 

Consumer protection laws help ensure fair trade, competition, and the free flow of truthful information that help consumers make informed buying decisions.  They are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors, and to protect consumers from fraud and deception.

Our highest priority is fighting fraudulent and deceptive practices that harm consumers and honest businesses.

Bureau of Business Trade Practices

  • Protects agricultural producers against catastrophic defaults by grain dealers, grain warehouse keepers, milk contractors and vegetable contractors

  • Administers the state's Unfair Sales Act (prohibition against selling below cost)

  • Promotes fair business practices by administering price discrimination laws in the dairy and soda water industries

  • Regulates warehouses that store goods for consumers and other businesses

  • Provides inspection and weighing services for grain, fruits, and vegetables (including Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices – GAP/GHP)

Bureau of Consumer Protection

  • Handles 100,000 new consumer complaints and inquiries every year

  • Returns approximately $5 - $10 million on average to consumers annually

  • Regulates unfair and deceptive business practices to protect millions of Wisconsin consumers every day

  • Administers Wisconsin's telemarketing "Do Not Call" Law (over 4.5 million unique Wisconsin numbers are registered)

  • Educates consumers on best practices to combat and avoid identity theft, and offers recovery services to identity theft victims through the bureau's Identity Theft Assistance Team.

Bureau of Weights and Measures

  • Administers Wisconsin's Weights and Measures laws

  • Conducts over 220,000 inspections of devices and products annually to ensure correct weights and measures

  • Administers Wisconsin's Fuel Quality laws

  • Tests 6,000 fuel samples annually at the Wisconsin Fuel Lab to ensure gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, kerosene and other fuels meet quality specifications

  • Administers Wisconsin's Petroleum and Hazardous Material Storage Tank laws