Farm Labor Contractor Licensing

Do I need a farm labor contractor license?

Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Labor Contractor Act (FLCA)
RCW 19.30 and WAC 296-310

What is a farm labor contractor?

A Farm Labor Contractor is:
An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation or government agency who, for a fee, does one or more of the following:

Farm Labor Contractor

To perform any of the following agricultural activities:

  • Growing, producing, or harvesting farm or nursery products,
  • Forestation or reforestation of lands, including planting, transplanting, tubing, pre-commercial thinning and thinning of trees and seedlings, the cleaning, piling, and disposal of brush and slash,
  • Harvesting Christmas trees, and other related activities.
Farm Labor Contractor

An Agricultural Employer is:
Any person engaged in the agricultural activities listed above.

An Agricultural Employee is:
Any person who renders personal services to, or under the direction of, an agricultural employer in connection with the agricultural employer’s agricultural activity.

 

 

 

Questions we're asked:

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A farm labor contractor license is required for the work contract I am bidding for. May I bid for the work and apply for a farm labor contractor license after I am awarded the contract?

No. You must have a current farm labor contractor license before bidding or soliciting for a contract.

What if I have a contract with an agricultural employer, and I personally perform the work?

If you have a contract with an agricultural employer to complete agricultural activities which you do yourself (or with other co-owners of your business) a farm labor contractor license is not required.

Example:
Jim’s Grafting, Inc. has contracted to work for Smith Farms grafting trees. Jim and John are the co-owners of Jim’s Grafting and have decided to do the grafting themselves. They will not have any of their employees perform this job. A farm labor contractor license is not required.

What if I have a contract with the WA Department of Natural Resources or the US Forest Service to work on forestation/reforestation projects?

These contracts often include farm labor contractor activities. When it does, a farm labor contractor license is required. If you are not sure, contact the Farm Labor Contractor Compliance Specialist.

My employees cut trees and clear brush to keep active fires from spreading. Should I get a farm labor contractor license?

No. If you are doing this type of work during an active fire, you are firefighting, which is not considered to be a farm labor contractor activity. A farm labor contractor license is not required.

What if my employees do this work to help prevent forest fires?

You must have a farm labor contractor license.

I own a berry farm and sometimes I ask my employees to help me find workers to pick strawberries, although I don’t pay them for these recruitments. Are the employees who recruited the extra workers required to have a farm labor contractor license?

No, because you did not pay your employees a fee to recruit the workers.

My boss has asked me to help find workers to harvest fruit, and says he will pay me $100 for every worker I recruit. Do I need a farm labor contractor license?

Yes, because your employer is paying you a fee to recruit workers for him.

I am a crew boss for Roger Ranches, and I take eight to ten workers to and from work each day in my van. The company doesn’t pay me a fee, but pays for my auto insurance, maintenance, and gas expenses. Am I required to have a farm labor contractor license?

Yes. Although you’re not paid directly for transporting the workers, Roger Ranches is paying for your auto insurance, maintenance, and gas, which is considered a “valuable consideration.”

I am an agricultural employer. Do I need a farm labor contractor license?
It depends.

  • You are not required to have this license if you recruit, solicit, employ, supply, transport, or hire workers to work on your own farm, for your own business.
  • You are required to have this license if you recruit, solicit, employ, supply, transport or hire workers for another farmer’s land, for a fee.

You are NOT REQUIRED to have a farm labor contractor license in the following sample situations:

  • You recruit, solicit, employ, supply, transport, and hire workers (or any combination of these) for your own farm.
  • You “loan” 100 workers to Farmer Lee, who hires and pays the workers from his own payroll. You are not paid a fee for the loan of your workers.
  • You lease farm land from Growers Farm, but do not receive a fee, or any other “valuable consideration,” from Growers Farm for any of your work to recruit, solicit, employ, supply, transport, or hire workers to work on the leased land.

You ARE REQUIRED to have a farm labor contractor license in the following sample situations:

  • You “loan” 100 of workers to Farmer Mack, but continue to pay the workers’ wages. Farmer Mack reimburses you for labor costs.
  • You “loan” 300 of workers to Farmer Kent, who hires and pays the workers. Farmer Kent also pays you $5,000 for “loaning” him the workers.
  • You lease farm land from the Farms R Us Company, but do all recruiting, soliciting, employing, transporting, or hiring of workers yourself. Farms R Us pays you for managing the farmland and workers.
  • You and four other family members own Penny Farms, Inc.. Penny Packers, Inc. and three orchards – each one a separate LLC. All the workers are employees of Penny Farms, Inc. Each orchard sells its fruit to Penny Packers, Inc.. Penny Farms, Inc. bills each of the orchards for their share of labor costs. Penny Farms, Inc. must have a farm labor contractor license.

 

How to get licensed as a farm labor contractor

  • A Washington State business license from the Washington State Business Licensing Service.
  • A completed Farm Labor Contractor license application form (F700-014-000)
  • Tax compliance certifications.
  • A surety bond or cash deposit (minimum bond amount required).
    • $5,000 for 1 – 10 employees.
    • $10,000 for 11 – 50 employees.
    • $15,000 for 51 – 100 employees.
    • $20,000 for 100 or more employees.
  • Proof of auto liability insurance, if you plan to provide transportation to workers.

Minimum  coverage required:

  • $50,000 injury or damage to property; and
  • $100,00 for injury or damage, including death, to any one person; and
  • $500,00 for injury or damage, including death, to more than one person.

 

 


For more information:

Acrobat PDF file Farm Labor Contractor Application/Renewal Packet

Acrobat PDF file Farm Labor Contractor Registration Fact Sheet

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