Become a SNAP authorized market
Markets, farms and stores accepting SNAP benefits must be authorized by Food Nutrition Services (FNS), a branch of the USDA. FNS will provide a SNAP license with an FNS number. This permit number is specific to your market, and will be programmed into your market's point of sale (POS) terminal or app. There is no charge for the FNS application or SNAP license, but you will be responsible for purchasing and paying fees on an EBT card reader (various grants and programs exist to help small businesses afford these- feel free to reach out to email@example.com for more information).
First, you must figure out whether you are classified by the USDA as a Farmers Market or a Retail Food Store.
Farmers Market is a special classification designed only to cover traditional farmers markets with several vendors in a single location. All other types of markets (farm stands, brick-and-mortar locations, on-farm sales) will be classified as Retail Food Stores. The applications are very similar, with slightly stricter requirements on Retail Food Stores. For more information on qualifying as a Retail Food Store, please visit this link (most of you will likely be eligible under Criterion B). If you have any questions about how to apply and whether or not you qualify, please call the USDA's SNAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369.
Applying is a three step process:
1. Get a USDA account here.
2. Fill out the application online here. This link is the same for Farmers Markets and Retail Stores- you will select which you are at the beginning of the application.
3. Upload your supporting documentation* to the application to complete your file (Please note: this step must be done within 30 days of your application submission. You may check the status of your application using the FNS online system.)
*To complete the application, you’ll need the following:
Photo identification and Social Security card for all owners, partners, and corporate officers, unless the market is owned by a government agency. In cases where a farmers market is owned by a non-profit cooperative, the cooperative may designate a single “responsible official,” and provide such information solely for that person.
USDA FNS signed Certification and Signature Statement, which is received after submitting the application online.
Any business licenses you may have for doing business at your location, under the current owner’s name (this is optional for farmers markets located on temporary sites).
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