Public Warehouse Keepers

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The Wisconsin Depa​rtment of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (​DATCP)​ is responsible for enforcing a variety of business trade practice laws in order to ensure fair competition and an orderly ma​rketpla​ceThe public warehouse keeper licensing program provides​ monitoring of public warehouse keepers for the purpose of maintaining standards in line with established consumer protection laws.

​​​The Public Warehouse Keeper licensing program is authorized under Wis. Stat. ch. 99. In addition, see Wis. Admin. Code ch. ATCP 97Licenses expire annually on June 30, and applications to renew your license must be submitted on or before that date​.

A public warehouse keeper license is required of anyone that stores for hire. To "store for hire" means to accept and maintain custody of another person's property in return for consideration. "Storing for hire" does not include a rental of designated storage space to a renter who has access to that space during normal business hours and who is responsible for the safekeeping of property stored in that space. ​

Examples of businesses that require a public warehouse keeper license:

  • Ware​housing and logistics companies who handle products for commercial clients
  • Moving companies who store household goods
  • ​Marinas, power-sports dealerships, or RV dealerships who provide off-season storage
  • Farmers who offer storage using an empty barn, shed, or field

Applying for a Lic​ense Requires Three Steps

  1. Complete a license application through or by completing a paper/PDF application form.

  2. Submit payment for license fees either online with your completed application through MyDATCP, or by sending a check (see table below for amount) along with your paper application to:

    PO Box 93598
    Milwaukee, WI 53293-0598​

  3. File the required security (see table below for minimum security amounts) in one of the following forms approved by the Department:

    • Surety bond form
    • Liability policy insurance form
    • Letter of credit form​

Notes about licensing and license applications:

  • Licenses expire annually on June 30.

  • A license application is not complete until all three steps have been completed: an application has been submitted, license fees have been paid, and security has been filed.

  • Licenses are not transferable.

  • License fees are not prorated for applications submitted during the license year. The full license fee is required.

  • A surcharge of $100.00 may be required if you have been operating without a license within one year before submitting the license application.

  • A license is not required for any of the following:

    • ​A municipal corporation.

    • A person operating a warehouse storing only grain.

    • Frozen food locker plants.

    • A cooperative​ association storing farm products and merchandise only for its members.

    • A person who owns and operates a warehouse only to store dairy products or canned fruits and vegetables manufactured by that person.

    • A common carrier engaged solely in the transit and storage of property for periods not exceeding 30 days.

    • A person operating a warehouse pursuant to a license issued under the federal Bonded Warehouse Act (7 USC 241).

    • A person who stores property received under a writ of restitution under Wis. Stat. ch. 799.44(2) if that person was the plaintiff in the action that resulted in the issuance of the writ of restitution.

    • An agricultural society, association, or board that conducts a county or district fair and which receives aid under Wis. Stat. ch. 93.23


License Fees and Security Amounts


​​Square Footage

​Annual Fee​​​

​​Security Minimum


LESS THAN 10,000




​10,000 - 49,999




​50,000 - 99,999




​100,000 - 149,999




​150,000 OR MORE​