Skip to main content

Pesticide Application Businesses

A black pesticide applicator dressed in blue coveralls exiting his vehicle with his chemicals in tow.
Michigan Agriculture Logo

Pesticide Application Businesses

About Pesticide Application Business Licenses

Contact: Central Licensing Unit, 517-284-5771 or MDARD, 1-800-292-3939

In addition to becoming certified/registered pesticide applicator, applicators must obtain a pesticide application business license to apply pesticides for hire. Your certification/registration does not allow you to legally operate a business to apply pesticides for hire.

Quick Links

New! Provide feedback about pesticide licensing.

Pesticide Application Businesses Currently Licensed to do Business in Michigan

Pesticide Regulations for New Commercial Pesticide Applicator Businesses

Checklist for Submitting Your Pesticide Applicator's Business License (PABL) Application Form: A list of items and procedures required to successfully complete a new PABL application submission.

Guidance for Registering Your Company Name When Applying for a Pesticide Application Business License

Pesticide Applicator's Business License Forms

Pesticide Application Business Subcontracting Policy: Firms without a PABL license that want to subcontract pesticide application services to a license firm must follow the MDARD subcontracting policy found here.

Pesticide Application Renewal Process

2024 Renewal Memo

2024 Renewal Instructions

2024 PABL Renewal Checklist for a Blank Renewal

PABL Blank Renewal Application (PI-079c)

Notarized Statement of Experience

Michigan Pesticide Application Business License Details & FAQ

Licenses expire annually on December 31. The fee to apply or renew a license is $100.

  • Any commercial applicator who holds him/herself out to the public as being in the business of applying pesticides within this state for compensation, EXCEPT:

    1. Any person who applies pesticides onto premises he/she owns, leases, or operates, without compensation.
    2. Veterinarians or physicians in their professional services.
    3. Persons applying pesticides for private agricultural purposes, on property owned or rented by that person or his or her employer applied without compensation other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities.
  • To qualify for a license, the following requirements must be met (Please allow enough time for MDARD to process both the certification credential(s) plus four to six weeks to process your business license.):

    • Submit a signed application on the Department's form.
    • Submit a certificate of liability insurance. (See Insurance Liability Requirements)
    • Submit the $100 application fee by check or money order made payable to the State of Michigan.
    • The applicant must be a certified applicator or have a certified applicator in their employ. The certified applicator's credentials must cover the category(s) of licensing applied for.

    Note: If all categories indicated on certification application(s) have not been completed, a business license will not be issued for any category.  If you or your employees have recently taken certification exams, please attach copies of your receipt(s) that show the exam scores and dates. 

    Any employee of a licensed commercial pesticide application firm that applies pesticides must be a certified applicator or registered technician. For all pesticide applications other than sanitizers, germicides, disinfectants or anti-microbial agents made in schools, public buildings and health care facilities, the pesticide applicator shall have participated in a verifiable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Training Program approved by the director and a verifiable IPM program shall be in place for the building where the application is to occur.

  • All firms

    Commercial applicator's required to be licensed by Sec. 8313(1) shall be certified under section 8312 and shall have at least 1 of the following in order to qualify for a license under this section:

    • Service for not less than 2 application seasons as an employee of a commercial applicator, or comparable education and experience as determined by the director.
    • A baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university in a discipline that provides education regarding pests and the control of pests, and 1 application season of service as an employee of a commercial applicator.

    As a new applicant, prior to consideration of a commercial pesticide applicator's license you may call or submit your experience requirements for tentative approval.

    This information must be supplied at the time of application, on the Notarized Letter of Experience Form, signed by the person with the qualifying experience, and NOTARIZED by a Notary Public.

    Additional requirements for Aerial Applicators

    Commercial applicator, in addition to complying with the other requirements of Act451, shall meet 1 or more of the following requirements per sec.8315(1) before engaging in the aerial application of pesticides:

    • Attainment of at least 3 years of experience with not fewer than 200 hours of agricultural aerial application under the supervision of a commercial aerial applicator.
    • Be previously licensed as a commercial aerial applicator before December 27, 1988.
    • Successfully complete an aerial applicator training program recognized by the director as sufficient to assure the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare, and the environment.
  • APPLICATION CATEGORIES

    DESCRIPTION

    1A. Field Crops

     

    This includes applicators who use pesticides for the production of field crops; cereal grains, feed grains, beans, soybeans, sugarbeets, forage.

    1B. Vegetable Crops

    This includes applicators who use pesticides for the production of vegetable crops; tomatoes, potatoes, snap beans, celery, onions, cucurbits, cole crops, sweet corn.

    1C. Fruit Crops

     

    This includes applicators who use pesticides for the production of tree fruit; apples, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, nuts, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and raspberries.

    1D. Livestock Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides on animals; cattle, swine, sheep, horses, goats, other livestock, poultry. A person who use pesticides on or in places where animals are confined.

    2. Forest Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in any of the following areas: forests, forest nurseries, Christmas tree plantations, forest seed-producing areas.

    2A. Wood Preservation

    This includes applicators who use pesticides for preserving wood products.

    3A. Turfgrass Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides to manage pest of turf grasses.

    3B. Ornamental Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides to manage pests of ornamental plants in exterior areas, such as evergreens, shrubs, and shade trees.

    4. Seed Treatment

     

    This includes applicators who use pesticides on any of the following: seeds, corns, tubers, rhizomes, stolons, other plant parts used or propagation.

    5. Aquatic Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides which are applied to lakes, ponds, streams, marshes, or ditches and tributaries which flow into them or which are applied to surfaces that contact such bodies of water to manage aquatic pest. This category does not include applicators who engage in mosquito management.

    5A. Swimming Pools

     

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in maintaining public or private swimming pools to manage algae, bacteria, or other swimming pool pests.

    5B. Microbial Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in any of the following to manage bacteria, fungi, algae or viruses; cooling towers, air washers, evaporative condensers, pulp and paper mills, sewer treatment, other applications.

    5C. Sewer Line Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in sewer lines for root control.

    6. Right-of-Way Pest Management

     

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in the maintenance of any of the following: public roads, ditch banks, electric power lines, pipelines, railway rights-of-way, parking lots, tennis courts, similar noncrop areas.

    7A. General Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in, on, or around any of the following: food-handling establishments, human dwellings, institutions such as schools and hospitals.

    7B. Wood Destroying Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in, on, or around structures for the management of wood-destroying pests, such as any of the following: termites, powder post beetles, carpenter ants, wood-destroying fungi.

    7D. Vertebrate Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides to manage vertebrate pests, such as birds, rats, or mice.

    7E. Interior Plant Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides in the maintenance of plants at inside locations, such as any of the following: homes, offices, shopping malls, stores, similar sites.

    7F. Mosquito Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides to manage mosquitoes in an outside environment.

    7G. Domestic Animal Pest Management

    This includes applicators who use pesticides to control pests associated with small domestic animals, such as cats and dogs.

    8. Public Health Pest Management

    This includes state, federal, or other government employees who use pesticides in public health programs for the management of pests that have medical and public health importance, excluding mosquitoes.

    9. Regulatory Pest Management

    This includes state, federal, or other government employees who use pesticides in the management of regulated pests.

    10. Demonstration and Research Pest Management

    This includes individuals who demonstrate to the public the proper use, and techniques of application of pesticides, who supervise the demonstrations, or who conduct field research with pesticides and, in so doing, use restricted-use pesticides.

    STANDARDS OF APPLICATION

    DESCRIPTION

    AE. Aerial

    Applicators who apply pesticides by aircraft.

    FUM. Fumigation

    Includes the application of a fumigant for structural, soil borne, stored commodity and greenhouse pests.


  • Proof of financial responsibility must be submitted in the form of a certificate of comprehensive general liability insurance.

    • Certificate of insurance must show the current legal name and address of the licensee as the insured.
    • Certificate of insurance must show the effective date and expiration date.
    • Certificate of insurance must show the limits of liability. Insurance liability requirements are:

      For Aerial Application, Fumigation and Right-of-Way Pest Control:

      • Not less than $100,000 for bodily injury for each occurrence.
      • Not less than $25, 000 for property damage for each occurrence.
      • A combined single limit of $300,000 for bodily injury and property damage.

      All other license categories

      • Not less than $100,000 for bodily injury for each occurrence.
      • Not less than $25,000 for property damage for each occurrence
    • If a licensee is qualified in 2 or more license categories with different minimum liability requirements, the greater requirement shall apply.
    • A single comprehensive liability insurance policy may be written to provide financial responsibility coverage for more than one licensed place of business owned and operated by the same person.
    1. The licensee is required to notify the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development of any change in status of a certified applicator named on a license application. The licensee must notify the Department of any change in business name or address.
    2. The licensee must maintain insurance during the licensing period, or during the period of time necessary to span a seasonal operation.
    3. The licensee is responsible for seeing that a current certificate of insurance is sent to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development when the previous certificate has expired.
  • Forms & Applications

    Completing the Application

    Please do download and use the MDARD Checklist for Submitting Your Pesticide Application Business License (PABL) Application Form

    1. Fill in all parts of the application form. (Indicate "N/A" if not applicable.)
    2. Print or type where requested to do so.
    3. Indicate categories in which you are applying for a license.
    4. Complete signature portion.
    5. Submit appropriate fee with the application. (Make checks payable to "State of Michigan.")
    6. Submit certificate of current liability insurance for bodily injury, property damage, including effective and expiration dates.
    7. Each license expires annually on December 31.
    8. The license may be renewed by meeting the same requirements as for a new license.
    9. Please allow enough time for MDARD to process both the certification credential(s) plus four to six weeks to process your business license.
  • License Renewal

    The license may be renewed by meeting the same requirements as for a new license.

    Cost: A $100 license fee submitted to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development along with:

    1. A Pesticide Application Business License renewal form.
    2. Proof of required insurance coverage.
    3. A notarized letter verifying pesticide application experience (only for businesses adding new license categories).
    4. A copy of the business' Assumed Name Certificate(s) (DBA) or, the date of incorporation

    PABL Application Business License Renewal Instructions for a Blank Renewal

    To ensure continuity of your Pesticide Application Business License, the renewal application must be submitted to MDARD by December 31 when the current license expires.

    If (and only if) you're adding a new category, please complete the Notarized Statement of Experience (PI-217). The new category will not be added to your license unless this form is NOTARIZED by a notary public and returned with the renewal application. Please check the boxes for all of the additional categories that you want added to your license. In addition, on the renewal form we sent you via US post, we have placed on your renewal application (Box #8), the names of your business applicators, their certification number, and expiration date of certification. Please review this information and have any expired/expiring applicators re-certify. If you no longer have or did not receive your renewal form in the mail, please contact us at 517-284-5771.

    The following deficiencies may delay or prevent your license from being issued; please read the checklist instructions carefully:

    • Applicators with expired certification credentials: The licensing system is unable to issue your business license until the certification system has issued your certification card.
    • Expired insurance coverage.
    • Missing and/or expired corporation, partnership, or assumed name documents.

    Please allow enough time for MDARD to process both the certification credential(s) plus four to six weeks to process your business license. If you have any questions, please contact Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division at 517-284-5653.

    Business license application forms and other information forms can be found under General Information and Forms dropdown.

    Compliance Reminders!

    • It is a violation to continue to offer pesticide services after 12/31 until you have complied with the renewal requirements. This includes bidding on contracts and advertising in the new year. If such violations occur, MDARD will initiate enforcement action.
    • It is a violation for applicators to make applications without carrying their certification card/temporary credential (paperwork) with them.
    • Application records are now required to list the EPA Registration number of the product(s) applied.
    • If you will not be renewing the license, please return the renewal application marking “DECLINE” in Box #2.
  • For additional information or to have forms mailed to you, please contact:

    Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division
    P.O. Box 30017
    Lansing, Michigan 48909
    Phone: 800-292-3939

    or

    Central Licensing Unit
    Phone: 517-284-5771

    Click here for information regarding Pesticide Application Certification, or call Lisa Graves at 517-284-5653.