How To Become a Licensed Farm Labor Contractor in California

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The following individuals or organizations are considered "farm labor contractors":

  • any person/legal entity who, for a fee, employs people to perform work connected to the production of farm products to, for, or under the direction of a third person
  • any person/legal entity who recruits, supplies, or hires workers on behalf of someone engaged in the production of farm products and, for a fee, provides board, lodging, or transportation for those workers, or supervises, times, checks, counts, weighs, or otherwise directs or measures their work, or disburses wage payments to these persons.

Under the California labor Code, any person acting as a farm labor contractor (FLC) is required to be authorized and keep their license current. The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement of the Department of Industrial Relations issues licenses for Farm Labor Contractors. Visit the DLSE website for information and the online application process (also available as a printable form).


Membership in CFLCA will also help you navigate the industry and provide you with much needed resources and information.

FLC License Application Instructions and Checklist

  • Register with the federal government as a farm labor contractor and received a federal registration certificate. Department of Labor instructions and information found here. Additional resources are available through the DOL WHD FAQ, and the video on Applications for MSPA Certificates of Registration.
  • Complete the state license application and pay the corresponding fee, including:
    • Driver's license for the sole proprietor or for all members/partners.
    • Two current passport photos for the sole proprietor; one member of an LLC/corporation; or for EACH partner in a partnership.
    • Fingerprints for the sole proprietor; all members of an LLC/corporation; or all partners taken at a Live Scan facility. Live Scan Fresno form and San Francisco form and Oakland form.
    • The Articles of Incorporation/Organization and Statement of Information from the California Secretary of State.
    • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS.
    • Obtain workers' compensation and an FLC bond in the appropriate amount. New applicants may delay until the exam is passed. For renewals WCI and bond must be valid for more than 30 days following expiration of current license.
    • Participate in at least nine hours of relevant education classes for each license period (within the last 12 months of application).
    • The sole proprietor; each officer of a corporation/LLC; or each member of a partnership, AND all supervisory staff must fill out a sexual harassment disclosure statement (English or Spanish).
    • Renewal applicants must provide:
    • County registrations for each to which the applicant will dispatch workers.
    • Quarterly payroll reports from EDD (DE-9/C).
    • List of grower clients.
    • Complete list of all materials and resources used to provide sexual harassment prevention training to workers in the calendar year prior (including the company's policy and DFEH185).
    • Additional requirements for the transport and/or lodging of workers.
  • Take and pass the farm labor contractor exam administered by DIR (initially and then once every two years). Find study resources here.

State licenses must be renewed each year; online applications may begin renewal 90 days from the license expiration date and should be submitted 30+ days in advance for priority processing. FLCs may request temporary extensions by submitting their renewal application, current WCI and bond, and pay applicable fees. State licensing contact: FLC@dir.ca.gov


Federal licenses must be renewed each year; applications may be submitted for renewal up to 120 days from the license expiration date and should be submitted at least 30 days in advance. Federal licensing contact: mspaflc@dol.gov 415-241-3505.


Exam invitations are sent to the email address provided on the FLC license application (individual, not agent) and will come from a third party DLSE has contracted with. Exams will be given in the language selected on the application (to confirm the language download a copy of your application). Exam results are sent to the same email address generally within three to four weeks.


Take the practice exam for FLC licensing!


Read the letter from DLSE responding to FLC exams issues (Mar. 25, 2022).



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California Farm Labor Contractor Association   1809 S Street, #101-246  Sacramento, CA  95811

Phone 916-389-1246     CFLCA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation    Tax ID # is 26-4017806

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