The Minnesota Warehouse Act licenses household goods warehouses as well as general merchandise warehouses and is intended to protect depositors from financial losses when they store goods with those warehouses. Depositors have the ability to file a claim against the warehouse's bond or liability insurance in the case of a documented loss.

There are two types of licensed warehouses in Minnesota:

Household Goods Warehouse Operator:  Anyone who stores or warehouses household goods for compensation.  Household goods are:

•personal effects
•property used in dwellings
•property of businesses
•articles of unusual nature or value that require special handling

This excludes seasonal storage of boats and recreational vehicles and self storage 

General Warehouse Operator: Anyone who stores or warehouses goods, wares, records (paper), or merchandise for compensation or holds themselves out as being in the business, offers facilities, advertises, solicits or accepts storage for compensation.
This excludes storage of mineral, ore, & rock products; grain warehouses; seasonal storage of boats and recreational vehicles; and self storage.

How do I know if a warehouse is licensed and bonded?

Contact us at the number listed on this page or check our online list of licensed warehouses.

Warehouse License Application

Before a warehouse can legally store goods for others they must file an application with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Each license authorizes warehousing in one city or town. Along with the application the following is required:

License Fee
A license fee must be paid based on the warehouse storage capacity.

5,000 square feet or less  $110
5,001 to 10,000 square feet $220
10,001 to 20,000 square feet $330
20,001 to 100,000 square feet $440
100,001 to 200,000 square feet $550
200,001 or more square feet $660


If you store household goods, a General Merchandise Storage Bond in the amount of at least $10,000 (per city) must be issued and a tariff must be filed.

If you do not store household goods, $50,000 in warehouseman's legal liability insurance may be filed in place of the General Merchandise Storage Bond. No tariff is required.


An inspection of the facility is required at application.  Inspectors may request information such as relevant records relating to the storage of goods.  Inspections may include:

• Fire Protection – Must be protected in accordance with State Fire Code
• Floor Load – Can’t be overloaded
• Aisles – Wide enough to permit movement of goods. Free from obstructions, litter, excessive dust.
• Goods – Furniture, mattresses, rugs, carpets and other goods must be wrapped.
• Rodent Control & Security System will be recorded
• Square Footage will be measured
• Identification tags and/or lot numbers will be verified
• Warehouse Physical Condition will be recorded

Warehouse Receipt

A copy of your warehouse receipt must be submitted.


License Renewal

The licensing period is July 1st - June 30th with an annual renewal.  A renewal application will be mailed to you in May before your license expires and it must be returned by July 1st or late fees will apply.  If you think your renewal may have been lost in the mail please contact us, we will gladly resend the renewal application.  Please do not print out and send a new application from this page as it may cause a delay in receiving your license! 


Bond Claims

Filing a Claim

A depositor claiming to be damaged by the breach of an agreement to store goods must file a claim with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture within 180 days of the date of breach.

General Merchandise Proof of Claim

All claims must be in writing on a General Merchandise Claim Form and must state the facts upon which the claim is based, must include any supporting evidence, and must be signed by the claimant. The supporting evidence may consist of, but is not limited to, a bill of lading, a warehouse receipt, a contract form, correspondence, or photographs.

Where to File

All claims must be filed with:

Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Fruit, Vegetable and Grain Unit
625 N Robert St
St Paul MN 55155