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referee-1149014_1920As we’ve previously noted, about one-half of states in the United States license auctioneers in a comprehensive fashion.

And the other “about one-half” don’t license auctioneers in a comprehensive fashion.

In those states which license auctioneers statewide, there is a key component of that licensing which must be considered: Does the statewide licensing preempt local, municipal, township, county and city licensing of auctions and/or auctioneers?

In the state where we are based, this is state law (§ 4707.111):

The state, through the department of agriculture and in accordance with this chapter, shall solely regulate auctioneers, auction firms, and the conduct of auction sales. By enactment of this chapter, it is the intent of the general assembly to preempt municipal corporations and other political subdivisions from the regulation and licensing of auctioneers, auction firms, and auction sales.

This means if someone has a state issued auctioneer’s license, no other entity within the state can dictate an auctioneer’s license is needed to operate. In other words, a village enacting a law which says auctioneers have to buy a one-day permit to hold an auction within that village’s venue would be illegal.

A clear advantage of statewide auctioneer licensing is that such can preempt other licensing requirements around the state. And without statewide licensing coupled with this related preemption clause, municipalities and other political subdivisions are quite likely to enact licensing or other statutes requiring permits and fees, making working in that state almost a nightmare for auctioneers.

States without statewide licensing largely have municipal and political subdivision licensing and/or permit requirements. Maybe it’s time for more statewide licensing given auctioneers these days work over a wide region — typically at minimum throughout their home state?

Alternately, maybe no licensing requirements at all is best? However, the likelihood of a state having not one instance of licensing/permits is remote, if not unheard-of. Almost makes the argument for statewide licensing academic other than abhorrent overreaching licensing which is certainly disfavored in our industry.

We explored the advantages and disadvantages of auctioneer licensing here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/auctioneer-licensing-good-or-bad/. This preemption issue is certainly a material part of the advantages.

We would offer this: If your state has statewide auctioneer licensing, it is prudent for the auctioneer industry for those licensing laws to include preemption of municipal corporation and other political subdivision licensing and regulation.

Further, if your state doesn’t have statewide auctioneer licensing this may be a good reason to have such (coupled with the aforementioned preemption,) as this would allow your auctioneers to work statewide without securing various licenses in each village, town, city and the like he or she wishes to work.

Auctioneers (and the states in which they operate) have choices: No regulators (not likely,) one regulator (preferred,) and numerous regulators (burdensome.)

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.