Market Agency Selling on Commission (SOC) or Stockyard Owner

The following are some basic responsibilities for market agencies selling livestock on commission and stockyard owners.

National Tariff Listing for SOC Markets

Registered and Bonded Market Agencies Selling Livestock on Commission

  • PDF (July 1, 2019) (PDF; 411Kb)
  • XLSX (July 1, 2019) (Excel: XLSX; 83Kb)

Note: These lists include certain regulated entities subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act - those that are required to maintain a bond (market agencies, dealers, and packers) and those subject to the statutory trust provisions (bonded packers and live poultry dealers). The lists and bond amounts are current as of the date listed on the linked file. Once you open a file you can use the "Find" option under the "Edit" menu to locate specific regulated entities. The listed business addresses are most often mailing addresses. Please contact a Packers and Stockyards Division (PSD) regional office with any questions concerning these lists.

Market Agency Selling on Commission and Stockyard Owner Responsibilities

The following are some basic responsibilities for market agencies selling livestock on commission and stockyard owners. Please refer to the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as Amended and Supplemented, and the Regulations issued there under, for a complete list of legal responsibilities.


Every person operating or desiring to operate as a market agency to sell livestock for others shall apply for registration under the Act.

To file for registration you would need to complete form:

  • P&SP-1000 (PDF; 27Kb) - Application for Registration.


Every market agency selling livestock on commission must execute and maintain a reasonable bond to secure their obligations to livestock consignors.” Please revise the third sentence to read “Market agencies selling livestock on commission will need to file a clause one bond or bond equivalent.

To file bond, you must complete and submit fully executed original copies of one or more of the following forms:

Custodial (Trust) Accounts

Every market agency engaged in selling livestock on commission or an agency basis must establish and maintain a separate bank account designated as “Custodial Account for Shippers’ Proceeds.". This is a special trust account designed to ensure payment to consignors. P&S regularly audits this account, and there are special regulations governing how it is handled. The account is a fiduciary account. The market must deposit all proceeds from the sale of livestock into this account, and use this account to pay all consignors of livestock. It is for the transfer of money between the buyer and seller of livestock only. Proceeds from non-livestock items, such as tack, rabbits, chickens, etc., cannot go through this account.


Each stockyard owner or market agency operating at a posted stockyard must post for public inspection, and file a signed copy with PSD, all schedules of rates and charges they will charge for stockyard services. Any changes to the approved tariffs must be posted at the market for at least 10 days before making the new charges effective.

Prompt Payment

Each market agency selling livestock on commission must transmit or deliver to each consignor the net proceeds received from the sale and a true written account of each sale. Both are due to the consignor before the close of the next business day following the sale of the consigned livestock. The account of sale should show the number, weight, and price of each kind of animal sold, the date of sale, the commission, yardage, and other lawful charges, and such other facts as may be necessary to complete the account and show fully the true nature of the transaction. The parties to a transaction may agree in writing prior to the transaction to effect payment in a manner other than previously described.


All scales used by those subject to the Act to weigh livestock, livestock carcasses, or feed for the purposes of purchase, sale, acquisition, payment, or settlement, must be installed, maintained, and operated to ensure accurate weights, in accordance with the applicable requirements in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 44, "Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices." All such scales must be tested for accuracy by a competent agency at least twice during each calendar year-once between January 1 and June 30 and once between July 1 and December 31. You must have a minimum of 120 days between these two tests. Except that if you use such scales on a limited seasonal basis (during any continuous 8-month period) for purposes of purchase, sale, acquisition, payment or settlement, you may use such scales within an 8-month period following each test. The certification form must be filed with the regional PSD office. Such scales must be equipped with a printing device which will record weight values on a scale ticket or other document. Any scale known to be inaccurate may not be used.


Only competent, trained weighmasters should weigh livestock. All weighmasters must read and sign an Acknowledgment Form certifying that they have read the Instructions for Weighing Livestock or Poultry. The weighmaster should ensure that the scale will provide accurate weights prior to weighing. The weighmaster should keep the scale balanced at zero at all times; check the zero balance every 15 minutes or 15 drafts, and after every draft of more that half the scale capacity; record the time of zero balance check; and weigh each draft of livestock to the nearest scale division. The weighmaster should favor neither the buyer nor the seller; print a scale ticket only while livestock is on scale and scale has settled; complete the scale ticket; allow persons having a legitimate interest in a draft of livestock to observe the weighing; and reweigh a draft of livestock immediately if requested.

Unfair Practices

IIt is unlawful for any market agency selling livestock on commission or stockyard owner to engage in or use any unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or device.


Every stockyard owner and market agency shall keep such accounts, records, and memoranda as fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in his/her business, including the true ownership of such business. The records must by maintained for two full years, or longer if instructed by the Administrator.

Annual Reports

Every market agency selling livestock on commission and stockyard owner must file an annual report with PSD. Each of these entities will complete and file formP&SP-3003 on a yearly basis. (PDF; 62Kb) on a yearly basis.

Inspection of Business Records and Facilities

Each market agency selling livestock on commission and market agency, upon proper request, must permit authorized representatives of the Secretary of Agriculture to enter its place of business during normal business hours and to examine records pertaining to its business subject to the Act.


After the Secretary has given public notice, any livestock facility deemed to fall into the definition of a stockyard under the P&S Act must post copies of the public notice in the stockyard.