Who Needs A Warehouse License?

In Massachusetts, a warehouse is defined as “any building or part of a building kept and maintained for the storage of goods, wares, and merchandise as a business,” as stated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety.  If you own or operate a business in the moving and storage industry, do you understand all of the specifics that are involved with licensing, liability and even movers insurance as it pertains to your warehouse and storage?

First things first, you should understand that there are different types of public warehouses. This will impact the licensing requirements as well as your insurance requirements.

• Public warehouse: This includes eviction warehouses. Essentially, any warehouse that may be leased to solve short-term distribution and storage needs.
• Private warehouse: This type of warehouse is typically owned by a channel supplier or retailer for their own distribution strategy

In the moving and storage industry, it is probable that you have some type of public warehouse. As long as you are storing goods for hire than you are required to obtain a warehouse license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety.

In addition to that, if you operate an eviction lot within your warehouse, you will also need to declare that. While this is a public warehouse, it is a different type, and the requirements are a bit different in terms of licensing and bonds. You must comply with all of the state’s requirements or you risk losing your business and hefty fines!

Things to remember:
• You are liable for any damage that could have been reasonably avoided
• With eviction lots you must be insured for $10,000 over the bond for every eviction – this means you need to obtain surety bonds.
• For any warehouse, you must submit a $10,000 surety bond in order to receive licensing and approval for your warehouse.

At Wolpert Insurance, we are committed to ensuring that you understand all of your legal requirements as they pertain to Massachusetts safety and liability protection. Our goal has always been to protect you and secure the future success of your business. Now that you understand warehouse licensing requirements a bit more, check back next week for details on how you can apply and what the process is like. Any questions between now and then? Give us a call!