Market Rules & Forms​


In Washington, WSFMA member markets follow the “Roots Guidelines” which includes requirements to be a member market (i.e., insurance), what is allowed to be sold at WSFMA member markets, and defines the five types of vendors allowed to sell: farmers, food processors, prepared food, resellers, and artisan/crafters. Many markets use the WSFMA’s Roots Guidelines to inform their own market policies and applications.

Farmers Market Policies and Rules

Farmers market policies and rules serve to ensure the market is complying with its by-laws and legal requirements, fulfilling its mission, and establishing clear practices for everyone involved: board members, the market manager and staff, vendors, volunteers, and even shoppers, albeit indirectly. Smaller, newer markets may have very simple rules whereas older, larger markets need to address more topics and spell out its rules in more detail. As a rule, the larger the market, the more sophisticated its policies (and management structures) need to be.

Vendor Applications

One of the key tools of every farmers market is its vendor application. Markets are able to communicate policies, rules, and expectations to vendors. The information provided by vendors ensures that the market is abiding by legal requirements, and helps them to plan their vendor and product mix throughout the season.  This section provides key questions to be sure to ask and application examples from a variety of markets.

Market Forms Bank

Farmers markets use forms to collect and manage information from the vendors, shoppers, and market as a whole. Information may be for the market day, season, and used to compare different markets and seasons. The Market Forms Bank provides our “best of” collection of forms for you to replicate or improve.


An overview of the best practices in terms of setting market policies and rules is in development and will be posted the week of October 17.

Grievance Policies
Legal Requirements for Vendors


This section is under development and will be have best practices and sample applications posted the week of October 17.

Elements of an Application

Vendor “Declaration of Exemption from Organic Certification” Statement– sample statement in Word

Sample Applications

Burien Farmers Market Application Package with Rules (2016). Burien is a medium, seasonal market operated by “Discover Burien” in King County.

The Neighborhood Farmers Alliance operates seven markets in Seattle and has developed a detailed application for prospective vendors and currently uses an online format.