Dealer, Market Agency Buying on Commission, and Clearing Agency

A dealer buys and sells livestock on its own account or as the employee or agent of the vendor or purchaser.  A market agency buying on commission buys livestock for a commission.  A market agency acting as a clearing agent agrees to provide bond and otherwise take financial responsibility for one or more market agency or dealer’s livestock purchases subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act (Act).

The following lists include regulated entities subject to the Act who are required to maintain a bond. The lists and bond amounts are current as of the date listed on the linked file. Once you open a file, you can use the "Find" option under the "Edit" menu to locate specific regulated entities. Please contact a Packers and Stockyards Division (PSD) regional office with any questions concerning the listed files.

Regulated Entities Listing

Market Agency Buying on Commission, Dealer, and Clearing Agency Responsibilities

The actions below are some basic responsibilities for dealers, market agencies buying on commission, and clearing agencies. Review the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as Amended and Supplemented, and the Regulations issued there under, for a complete list of legal responsibilities.


Every person operating or desiring to operate as a dealer, market agency buying on commission, or clearing agency, must apply for registration under the Act.

In order to register, complete the following form:

File Bond

Every dealer, market agency buying on commission, and clearing agency must execute and maintain a reasonable bond or bond equivalent, to secure its obligations to livestock sellers. Dealers and market agencies buying on commission must select clause 2, and market agencies acting as clearing agencies for others must select clause 3 on the bond or bond equivalent form. The size of the bond or bond equivalent is based on the volume of business, generally an average of two days business.  The minimum bond is $10,000.

Pay Promptly

Every dealer, market agency buying on commission, and clearing agency purchasing livestock must deliver the full amount of the purchase price to the seller. Payment for the livestock is due before the close of the next business day following the purchase and transfer of possession.”

Maintain Accurate Scale

All scales used by those subject to the Act to weigh livestock, livestock carcasses, or feed for the purposes of purchase, sale, acquisition, payment, or settlement, must be installed, maintained, and operated to ensure accurate weights.  Follow the  applicable requirements in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 44, "Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices." All such scales must be tested for accuracy by a competent agency at least twice during each calendar year.  The first test must occur between January 1 and June 30.  The second test must occur between July 1 and December 31. You must have a minimum of 120 days between these two tests. Except that if you use such scales on a limited seasonal basis (during any continuous 8-month period) for purposes of purchase, sale, acquisition, payment or settlement, you may use such scales within an 8-month period following each test. File the certification form from the competent testing agency showing the results of the required test with the PSD regional office covering your State. Such scales must be equipped with a printing device that will record weight values on a scale ticket or other document. Any scale known to be inaccurate may not be used.

Weigh Accurately

Only competent, trained weighmasters should weigh livestock. All weighmasters must read and sign an Acknowledgement Form certifying that they have read the regulations for weighing livestock and poultry. The weighmaster should ensure that the scale will provide accurate weights prior to weighing. The weighmaster should keep the scale balanced at zero at all times; check the zero balance every 15 minutes or 15 drafts, and after every draft of more than half the scale capacity; record the time of zero balance check; and weigh each draft of livestock to the nearest scale division. The weighmaster should favor neither the buyer nor the seller; print a scale ticket only while livestock is on scale and scale has settled; complete the scale ticket; allow persons having a legitimate interest in a draft of livestock to observe the weighing; and reweigh a draft of livestock immediately if requested.

Maintain Adequate Records

Every dealer and clearing agency must keep the accounts, records, and memoranda necessary to disclose fully and correctly, all transactions involved in his/her business. This includes the true ownership of the business.

File Annual Reports

Every dealer, market agency buying on commission, and clearing agency must file an annual report with PSD.

Each of these entities will complete and file form P&SP-3001 (pdf) on a yearly basis. View the P&SP 3001 form instructions (pdf)

Permit Inspection of Business Records and Facilities

Each dealer, market agency buying on commission, and clearing agency, upon proper request, must permit authorized representatives of the Secretary of Agriculture to enter its place of business during normal business hours and to examine records pertaining to its business subject to the Act.