Virginia Auction Law

Officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States,[5][6] between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most-populous city, and Fairfax County is the most-populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth’s population in 2020 was over 8.65 million, with 36% of them living in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area.

Virginia’s state legislature is the Virginia General Assembly, which was established in July 1619, making it the oldest current law-making body in North America. It is made up of a 40-member Senate and a 100-member House of Delegates. The state government is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia’s economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; high tech and federal agencies, including the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency, in Northern Virginia; and military facilities in Hampton Roads, the site of the region’s main seaport.

Powers of Auctioneering Board in Virginia


As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

“Absolute auction” means an auction where at the time of the auction sale the real or personal property to be sold will pass to the highest bidder regardless of the amount of the highest and last bid.

“Auction” means the sale of goods or real estate by means of exchanges between an auctioneer and members of his audience, the exchanges consisting of a series of invitations for offers made by the auctioneer, offers made by members of the audience, and acceptance by the auctioneer of the highest or most favorable offer.

“Auction firm” means any corporation, partnership or entity, except a sole proprietorship, performing any of the acts of an auctioneer as defined in this section.

“Auctioneer” means any person who conducts or offers to conduct an auction.

“Board” means the Auctioneers Board.

“Director” means the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

“Goods” means any chattels, merchandise, real or personal property, or commodities of any form or type which may be lawfully kept or offered for sale.

“Person” means any natural person, association, partnership, or corporation, and the officers, directors, and employees of a corporation.

“Virginia licensed auctioneer” means any auctioneer who meets the requirements for licensure as prescribed by the Board.

Auctioneers Board; membership, meetings and powers

  1. The Auctioneers Board shall be composed of five members as follows: three shall be Virginia licensed auctioneers and two shall be citizen members. Board members shall serve four-year terms. The Board shall meet at least once each year for the purpose of transacting business. Special meetings of the Board may be held at the discretion of the Director.
  2. The Board shall have the following authority and responsibilities:
  1. Establish regulations to obtain and retain licensure of auctioneers
  2. Make all case decisions regarding eligibility for initial licensure and renewal thereof.
  3. To fine, suspend, deny renewal or revoke for cause, as defined in regulation, any license.
  4. To examine auctioneers for licensure.

License required; requirements for licensure; nonresident applicants

  1. Unless exempted by § 54.1-601, no person or firm shall sell at auction without being licensed by the Board.
  2. Any auctioneer desiring to obtain a license may apply to the Board and shall establish to the satisfaction of the Board that he:
  1. Is a resident of Virginia and meets the application fee requirements set by the Board;
  2. Is covered by a surety bond, executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this Commonwealth, in a reasonable amount to be fixed by the Board, conditioned upon the faithful and honest conduct of his business or employment;
  3. Has successfully completed a course of study at a school of auctioneering which has obtained course approval from the Board or an equivalent course; and
  4. Has passed the Virginia Licensed Auctioneer’s Examination, administered by the Auctioneers Board.

C.  A nonresident of the Commonwealth may be licensed as an auctioneer by meeting one of the following requirements: (i) conform to the provisions of this chapter and regulations of the Board with reference to resident auctioneers or (ii) hold a valid auctioneer’s license or certificate in another state with which reciprocity has been established by the Board. Nonresident applicants shall also file with the Board an irrevocable consent that service of process upon the Director is as valid and binding as service of process upon the applicant.

       Any process or pleading served upon the Director shall be filed by the Director in his office and a copy thereof immediately forwarded by registered mail to the main office of the auctioneer at the last known address.

Continuing education

  1. The Board shall promulgate regulations governing continuing education requirements for auctioneers licensed by the Board. Such regulations shall require the completion of the equivalent of at least six hours of Board-approved continuing education courses for any license renewal or reinstatement. The Board shall establish criteria for continuing education courses including, but not limited to (i) content and subject matter of continuing education courses, (ii) curriculum of required continuing education courses, (iii) standards and procedures for the approval of courses, course sponsors, and course instructors, (iv) methods of instruction for continuing education courses, and (v) the computation of course credit. Any continuing education courses completed by an auctioneer pursuant to a requirement of the Certified Auctioneer’s Institute or participation in the educational programs sponsored by the National Auctioneer’s Association or Virginia Auctioneer’s Association shall satisfy the continuing education requirement of this section.
  2. The Board may grant exemptions or waive or reduce the number of continuing education hours required in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

Taxation of auctioneer

An auctioneer may not have a local license tax imposed by any county, city, or town except that in which his office is maintained. If a branch office is maintained elsewhere in Virginia, a local license tax may be imposed by the county, city or town in which the branch office is located, pursuant to §§ 58.1-37071 and 58.1-3709.

Unlawful to advertise as an auctioneer

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 hold himself out to the public as an auctioneer.

Advertising; absolute auctions involving real property

  1. No advertisements for any auction sale of personal or real property shall contain false, misleading, or deceptive statements, with respect to types or conditions of merchandise offered at auction, why merchandise is being sold, who has ownership, where the merchandise was obtained, or the terms and conditions of the auction and sale.
  2. No auctioneer shall advertise an auction sale of real property as “absolute” unless all lots included in the sale meet that criteria.

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