Licenses to sell fish, frogs or marine organisms

Commercial licenses are required to harvest and/or sell saltwater products, freshwater fish or frogs.

Saltwater products

Freshwater fish and frogs



Saltwater Products Licenses (summary only)

You need a Saltwater Products License (SPL) to commercially harvest and sell any saltwater fish, etc.  A Restricted Species Endorsement (RS) is required to take restricted species (most commercially valuable products). Applicants must show qualifying documentation (usually trip tickets showing sales to a licensed wholesale dealer) to qualify.  An SPL only authorizes sale to a licensed wholesale dealer (does not authorize sales to retail dealers or the public). 

You need a Wholesale Saltwater Products Dealers License (WD) to sell to other licensed dealers or licensed restaurants.  Dealers can only purchase saltwater products  from SPL holders or other wholesale dealers.  Dealers must report landings and produce 'trip tickets' for fishermen. 

You need a Retail Saltwater Products Dealers License (RC) to sell to the public.  Retailers can only buy from licensed wholesale dealers.

A separate retail dealers license is required for each business location.


*Important - Commercial saltwater fishing regulations

Information for new applicants (including how to qualify for the RS)

Commercial saltwater licenses, endorsements and fees

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) permits

Freshwater fish and frogs (summary only)

To catch and sell non-game freshwater fish or frogs, you need Commercial Freshwater Fishing License (FCL). FCL holders cannot purchase fish to sell.

To buy and/or sell freshwater fish for sale (including tropical fish), you need one or more of the following:

  • Resident Freshwater Fish & Frog Dealers License (to buy and/or sell to dealers or the public)
  • Non-resident Freshwater Retail Dealer's License (to buy/or and sell to the public)
  • Non-Resident Freshwater Wholesale Dealers License (to buy and/or sell to other dealers)
  • Non-Resident Freshwater Wholesale Buyer's License (to buy in Florida and/or sell out of state)

Commercial fishing regulations

Commercial freshwater fishing license & permit applications

Aquaculture certificate (raising/breeding freshwater fish)


To import and sell freshwater fish (including aquaria), you will need a Freshwater Fish Dealer's License (see above). 

To import and sell saltwater products (including aquaria, fish, shrimp, crabs, etc.) you will need a Saltwater Products Wholesale Dealers License. A Saltwater Products Retail Dealers License (see above) is required to sell to the consumer.

Some non-native fish are prohibited and may require a permit.  To see a list of conditional and prohibited species and find out who needs a permit, visit our Conditional Nonnative Aquatic Species page.

An Annual Food Permit issued by the Florida Department and Consumer Services (DOACS) may also be required.

For information on federal requirements, please contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, at 703-358-1949 and the U.S. Customs office in Miami, Florida.

For information about breeding or raising fish visit our Aquaculture Certificate page.

FWC Facts:
One 24-inch female red snapper can produce as many eggs as 212 17-inch females.

Learn More at AskFWC