This is a one year license that is issued to owners of wholesale and retail aquarium facilities (pet stores) that sell fish (aquatic life) that are species of aquatic life which are present in the waters of the state, or species of aquatic life that are not present in Minnesota but can survive in waters of the state. An aquarium facility license is not required to sell tropical, subtropical, and saltwater fish, and goldfish. Each aquarium facility owner or store must have their own license. If you have several retail outlet stores as part of your aquarium business, each store needs a separate license. The county code and legal description, including township, range, and section where your store is located, should be listed on the approved waters list for indigenous species. A county plat book is useful in finding your township, range, and section (please contact your area fisheries office if you need assistance). All renewals will have the location listed for you. All DNR-regulated species that you sell at your facility must be listed on your approved waters list. Do not bring any fish into your facility until they have been approved on your license.
DNR Regulated Fish Species for Aquarium Facilities
The DNR may require aquarium facilities to be licensed if they sell species, which fall into one of the following categories:
If you want to bring a species of aquatic life that is not on your approved list into your facility, and you are unsure if the species is regulated by the DNR, contact the Aquaculture and Fish Health Consultant, before bringing that species into your facility.
Non-regulated Fish Species for Aquarium Facilities
The DNR does not require pet stores to be licensed for tropical, sub-tropical, saltwater species, fish that cannot survive in Minnesota waters, or goldfish.
As part of your aquarium facility license renewal, you must complete and return an Aquarium Facility Report even if no production or sales occurred during the previous licensing period.
The following information relates to the importation, possession, purchase, and sale of amphibians, reptiles, minnows, and crayfish.
Fish Sales and Shipping Documents
You are required to provide a receipt or shipping document to customers if they purchase fish that are regulated by the DNR. Shipping documents or receipts provided to your customers must contain the following information:
Disposition of Fish
Aquarium fish may not be stocked in any waters of the state. A frequent question asked by customers who purchase fish is “What should I do with my fish now that it has outgrown my aquarium?” The fish may be returned to an aquarium facility for resale or destroyed. It is illegal and potentially harmful to release live fish into public waters without a permit from the DNR.
Importation of fish and permits
If you purchase fish from out of state that are listed on your license, you are required to obtain a Live Fish Importation, Transportation, and Stocking Permit issued by the DNR.
$90 – Aquarium Facility License
Request an Application
Click here to request a license application
License Renewal Information
License renewal packets will be mailed out to all current Aquarium Facility licensees in January. You can renew your license by completing and returning the enclosed license application.
Applications and Forms
Questions? Contact us!
Sean Sisler, Acting Aquaculture and Fish Health Consultant