Alabama Auction Law

Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the “Heart of Dixie” . As charming as this state is, the auction business here starts to blossom. This state has their own set of rules in terms of auctions and it will be discussed in this article.

License

It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, association or corporation in any county of this state to act as an auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer, or directly or indirectly to engage or assume to engage in the auction business and act as either without first obtaining a license issued by the State Board of Auctioneers. It shall be unlawful for any person not licensed under the provisions of this chapter to advertise that he is in the auction business or to do anything to leave any impression upon the public that he is an auctioneer or is so engaged.  

Each auctioneer shall annually pay one state license in an amount not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Each auctioneer shall also annually pay a county license of twenty-five dollars ($25) in each county where he or she sells by auction. No privilege license shall be required for any apprentice auctioneer when he or she is listed as the principal auctioneer. No license shall be required for any auctioneer who conducts an auction, without compensation for himself or herself, where all proceeds from the auction go to the benefit of any charitable organization. The term ”auctioneer” shall include any person selling real estate, goods, wares, merchandise, automobiles, livestock, or other things of value at public outcry.

Requirements and Fees

Any person desiring to enter into the auction business and obtain a license as an auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer shall make a written application for a license to the board. Each application shall be accompanied by an examination fee of an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) which shall be collected from each applicant to defray the expenses of the examination. A fee of an amount not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150) shall also be collected from each nonresident applicant who seeks licensing by reciprocity. The application shall be submitted on forms prepared and furnished by the board. 

Each applicant for a license as an auctioneer shall be 19 years of age or over, and each applicant for a license as an apprentice auctioneer shall be 18 years of age or over and shall be a citizen of the United States. Each applicant for an auctioneer’s license shall have completed a prescribed course of study at an accredited auctioneering school approved by the board, have served one year as an apprentice auctioneer under a licensed auctioneer in this state. Have been the principal auctioneer in at least five auctions of either real or personal property during this period of time; and furnish satisfactory proof of these requirements to the board. 

An application shall also be accompanied by a recommendation of an employing auctioneer. If an applicant has not completed a course of study at an accredited auctioneering school, then he or she shall be required to serve two years as an apprentice under a licensed auctioneer, and shall have been the principal auctioneer in at least 10 auctions of real or personal property.

The issuance of a license by the board shall be evidence that the person, partnership, association or corporation named therein is entitled to all the rights and privileges of an auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer while said license remains unrevoked or unexpired.  

Surety Bond

Each application for an auctioneer’s or apprentice auctioneer’s license shall be accompanied by a bond in the amount of $10,000.00. The bond shall be a cash bond or a surety bond and, if the latter, shall be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this state. The bond shall be made payable to the board and conditioned upon the applicant conducting his business in accordance with the provisions of this law. The bond shall be in a form approved by the board. No license may be issued until such a bond has been filed with the board.

Licensing of Nonresidents

A nonresident of this state may become an auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer in this state by conforming to the provisions of this chapter, or in the case of a nonresident from a non licensing state, such person may be licensed provided an examination is given and passed and the person has at least five years experience in the auction business. Provided further, that if a nonresident auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer has a lawsuit or other legal action filed and pending against him in this or any other state, the board shall not issue a license to him until final disposition of this action, and then only at the discretion of the board.

The terms ”auctioneer” and ”apprentice auctioneer” shall include any individual, firm, company, partnership, association or corporation by whom such ”auctioneer” or ”apprentice auctioneer” shall be employed. The board may recognize a license issued by any other state to a nonresident auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer if the other state reciprocates with Alabama in like manner and if the licensing requirements of such state include the passing of an examination of equal or higher standards than those required by this state.

Such nonresident licensee shall, however, be required to secure a license from the board which shall be issued upon application therefor, accompanied by payment of the license fee required by this law and the filing of a certified copy of the applicant’s license issued by such other state. Every nonresident applicant shall file an irrevocable consent that actions may be commenced against such applicant in the proper court in the county in this state in which a cause of action may arise, in which the plaintiff may reside, by service of any process or pleadings authorized by laws of this state on the board, or a deputy to be designated by it, said consent stipulating and agreeing that said service of such process or pleading shall be begun and held in all courts to be as valid and binding as if due service had been made upon said applicant in this state.

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