bakery worker topping cakesA Wholesale Food Processor/Manufacturer makes food and sells it to other businesses for resale (e.g. restaurants, grocery stores, other retail establishments, or distributors). This type of food operation uses raw materials and other food ingredients and manufactures a food product. A food facility that reformulates, reprocesses, or repackages foods would also be considered a wholesale food processor/manufacturer. 

These manufacturers produce a wide variety of foods in Minnesota including but not limited to seafood products, canned/jarred foods (salsas, hot sauces, BBQ sauces, etc.), candy, bakery items, dry mixes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, juice beveragesbottled water, ice, and dietary supplements.  

Wholesale Food Processors/Manufacturers are inspected by the Manufactured Food Program within the Food and Feed Safety Division. Food operations making meat and dairy products for wholesale may be regulated by the Dairy and Meat Inspection Division.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to determine your predominant mode of sales.  If you know or estimate that at least 50% of your gross annual food sales will be to other businesses/establishments, then you will be required to obtain a Wholesale Food Processor/Manufacturer license at your processing location. If you have questions regarding your predominant method of sales, please utilize the Food Licensing Wizard, or contact the MDA licensing liaison.

Contact the MDA and determine your area Manufactured Food Program (MFP) inspector, and arrange an in-person inspection. The area MFP inspector will provide you with a paper copy of the MDA Wholesale Food Processor/Manufacturer license application. An electronic form of the license application is NOT available through the MDA website.

Contact the MDA or submit a Food Licensing Liaison Request and the MDA licensing liaison will email you the area inspectors' contact information.

NOTE: Contact your area inspector at least two weeks prior to your anticipated business start date.

  • Your business plan
  • Manufacturing/processing location(s)
  • Equipment & facility design 
  • Food production process/steps
  • Labels (Finished product or bulk)
  • Ingredient and finished product storage
  • Distribution methods

In addition to basic business information such as legal name, DBA, and physical mailing addresses, the following four items are required on the one page license application:

  • Minnesota tax ID number associated with the business name registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State or your Social Security number, if filing as an individual.

  • Workers Compensation Insurance policy number and effective dates if you plan on having paid or compensated employees (if applicable)

  • Estimated gross annual food sales (January 1st – December 31st)

  • Check, money order or cashier’s check for the license fee

License fees are based on your gross annual food sales. If you are found operating without a license, then a no-license penalty fee will apply.

Anticipated Gross Annual Food Sales License Fee No License Penalty
$0 - $125,000 $169.00 $112.00
$125,001 - $250,000 $392.00 $259.00
$250,001 - $1,000,000 $590.00 $389.00
$1,000,001 - $5,000,000 $769.00 $508.00
$5,000,001 - $10,000,000 $920.00 $607.00
$10,000,001 - $15,000,000 $1,377.00 $909.00
$15,000,001 - $20,000,000 $1608.00 $1,061.00
$20,000,001 -  $25,000,000 $1,849.00 $1,220.00
$25,000,001 - $50,000,000 $2,090.00 $1,279.00
$50,000,001 - $100,000,000 $2,330.00 $1538.00
over $100,000,001 $2,571.00 $1,697,00


Annually. You must renew your license by December 31st of each year. If you renew later than December 31st, a late fee will be applied. A license renewal form will be mailed to you prior to December each year. License renewal online is an option.  

Gross Annual Food Sales & Services Renewal License Fee Late Penalty
$0 - $125,000 $169.00 $56.00
$125,001 - $250,000 $392.00 $129.00
$250,001 - $1,000,000 $590.00 $195.00
$1,000,001 - $5,000,000 $769.00 $254.00
$5,000,001 - $10,000,000 $920.00 $304.00
$10,000,001 - $15,000,000 $1,377.00 $454.00
$15,000,001 - $20,000,000 $1,608.00 $531.00
$20,000,001 -  $25,000,000  $1,849.00 $610.00
$25,000,001 - $50,000,000 $2090.00 $690.00
$50,000,001 - $100,000,000 $2,330.00 $769.00
Over $1,000,000,001 $2571.00 $848.00


Review the MDA webpage Starting a New Business. This will inform you about topics such as:

  • Applicable regulations such as FSMA – Preventive Controls for Human Food
  • Specialized regulations (acidified foods, juice HACCP, seafood HACCP, etc.) that may apply
  • Water source & waste water system requirements
  • Food business zoning requirements
  • Local authority inspections (e.g. building, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fire)
  • Certificate of Occupancy, if necessary
  • Retail Plan Review, if applicable
  • Meat or dairy products

It is your responsibility to become familiar with all the applicable regulations and Minnesota Statues to ensure you are manufacturing food safely and in the best interest of public health. Depending on the food being produced in your facility, you may need to employ an individual with specialized training, seek additional education/training, or you may need to consult with an external source (university, expert, process authority, or laboratory).