[NAFEX] re: wholesale nurseries

tanis cuff tanistanis at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 5 09:43:23 EST 2004

Commentary on the topic from WI Dept of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer 
Protection.  I don't know if Robert saw Claude's posting.

(Forwarded after confirming permission.)

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Dahl, Robert A DATCP" <>
To: tanistanis>
Subject: RE: extract from N. Am. Fruit Explorer listserv on nursery licenses
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 15:11:01 -0600

I will try to answer these confusing questions for you.  Let's start with
the basics.  Many large wholesale nurseries want to sell only to legitimate
businesses - this may include landscapers, garden centers, etc.  They
usually have minimum orders also, usually over $1000, sometimes less.  It is
hard for us as regulators, however, to know the intention of a new licensee.
So, we do issue licenses for nursery dealers (those that buy and,
presumably, resell nursery stock) and it is a good deal for those that are
doing landscaping with $5000 of nursery stock.  If you sell some of the
stock to others (friends), then you are basically a business, albeit a small
one.  I confess I do not know the tax issues either.  I hope this helps, if
not email back to me with further questions.

Robert Dahl
Section Chief, Plant Protection
Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture
PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911

Phone: 608-224-4573
Fax: 608-224-4656
Mobile: 608-516-5483
Email: robert.dahl at datcp.state.wi.us

 > -----Original Message-----
 > From:	Barta, Adrian  DATCP
 > Sent:	Thursday, March 04, 2004 11:35 AM
 > To:	Dahl, Robert A DATCP; Kohlenberg, Thad J DATCP
 > Subject:	extract from N. Am. Fruit Explorer listserv on nursery
 > licenses
 > Message: 7 Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 16:48:39 +0000 From: "tanis cuff"

>  Some years ago I tried to understand the WI regs on this. Never did feel
 > as tho I had a good grasp of it, and regs change w/ time. BUT, I doubt
 > there is any rule anywhere that says you must have a nursery license just
 > to buy wholesale, but rather for turning over the product in a business 
 > possibly hobbie venture. (Here in WI the logic was to license & keep 
 > of the people/places who were turning over the larger volumes, for 
 > track of disease & insect spread.) The wholesalers I bought from were
 > concerned only that a buyer order enough volumes of plants to make the
 > exchanges worthwhile. That's like the "wholesaler discount" advertised by
 > those nurseries which try to do both wholesale and retail. I never did
 > completely understand the tax issues, sorry. Wholesalers and retailers in
 > WI were (are?) issued a "tax number", for which current info can probably
 > be got from the WI Dept of Revenue-- that is, your state's Dept. tc ----
 > Original Message Follows---- From: markl > To: North American Fruit
 > Explorers <nafex@>
 > > Subject: [NAFEX] wholesale nurseries Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 11:29:00
 > -0500 (EST)
    I have a bunch of landscaping to do of my own yard ($2000 or
 > more in plants to purchase). I have been advised that I can get a 
 > business license from the state for $45 and buy my plants from a 
 > nursery at a lower price that at a retail place. I may resell a small
 > quantity of plants to friends if I have the energy to organize this, but
 > that is not my main purpose in getting the license. As long as my sales a
 > below a certain level, I won't have taxes to pay to the state. What is 
 > catch here? It sounds like I'm getting something for the nothing (buying
 > plants at wholesale prices). Could someone please explain the wholesale
 > nursery business to me? Can I by a few plants here, a few plants there, 
 > do wholesale places only deal in big orders? Is the wholesale/retail
 > distinction all about tracking who pays what taxes? -Mark Lee

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