Wyoming Auction Law

Wyoming is a state in the Mountain West sub region of the Western United States. The 10th largest state by area, it is also the least populous and least densely populated state in the contiguous United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the southwest, and Colorado to the south. The state population was 576,851 at the 2020 United States census. The state capital and the most populous city is Cheyenne, which had an estimated population of 63,957 in 2018.

Wyoming’s economy is driven by tourism and the extraction of minerals such as coal, natural gas, oil, and trona. Agricultural commodities include barley, hay, livestock, sugar beets, wheat, and wool. It was the first state to allow women the right to vote and become politicians, as well as the first state to elect a female governor. Due to this part of its history, its main nickname is “The Equality State” and its official state motto is “Equal Rights”. It has been a politically conservative state since the 1950s, with the Republican presidential nominee carrying the state in every election since 1968. A notable exception is Teton County, which has achieved notability for being Wyoming’s most Democratic county and the only county in the state to be won by a Democrat in every election since 2004.


Purpose Authority General Provisions

  1. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate, license and control the activities of auctioneers and auction businesses conducting said services or business within the city for the health, safety and welfare of the community. 
  2. Authority is granted cities and towns by Wyo. Stat. Section 15-1-103(a)(xiii) to license and regulate businesses, which includes auctioneers and auction businesses. 

Auction Defined.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter: 

“Auction” means all sales commonly known as “auctions,” including “dutch auctions” and auctions where the auctioneer shall do any of the following: 

  1. Call for public bids; 
  2. Progressively decrease the price at which the auctioneer will sell merchandise until an offer is accepted; 
  3. Add additional merchandise to original items for sale until a bid or offer is received for the accumulated items. 

License Required Fee

  1. A person may not sell, or cause or permit to be sold at an auction within the city, any personal property unless the sale is conducted by a holder of an auction business license issued by the city clerk whose activities are in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Persons desiring to conduct auction activities must submit to the city clerk an application, with nonrefundable annual license fee of one hundred thirty-five dollars ($135.00), on forms provided by the city clerk. 
  2. The chief of police will conduct an investigation of each initial applicant and provide written approval to the city clerk prior to issuance of any license to new applicants. 
  3. Applicants must file with the city clerk a surety bond in favor of the city in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), and conditioned upon the applicant, if issued an auctioneer or auction business license, complying fully with all provisions of this code or other ordinances of the city and state law regulating and concerning auctioneers and auction businesses. Licensees will render true and strict accounts of sales to any person employing them; will not practice any fraud or deceit upon bidders or purchasers of property at any auction sale, or permit any person in their employ to practice any such fraud or deceit; and will pay all damages which may be sustained by any person by reason of any fraud, deceit, negligence or other wrongful act on the part of the licensee, his or her agent or employees in the conduct of any action or in the exercise of the calling of auctioneer. A liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the state which conforms to the above requirements may be permitted in lieu of a bond. 
  4. Licenses are effective for one year from date of issuance. Upon receipt, each licensee must post the license upon the auction premises in a conspicuous place visible to the public. 

Operating Restrictions

Auction sales of personal property on any of the streets, sidewalks or public property of the city are not allowed. 


Provisions of this chapter are not applicable to auction sales conducted by trustees or referees in bankruptcy; executors, administrators, receivers or other public officers acting under judicial process, or any other lien sale held pursuant to law. No householder informally selling his or her own personal private property, as distinguished from property used in a trade or business, without the services of an auctioneer or auction service, is required to comply with the requirements, except that sales may not be conducted on public property.


Any person violating the provisions of this chapter will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable pursuant to the general penalty of the city code. Each day a violation continues will be considered a separate offense. 

Sale By Auction

  1. In a sale by auction if goods are put up in lots each lot is the subject of a separate sale.
  2. A sale by auction is complete when the auctioneer announces by the fall of the hammer or in other customary manner. Where a bid is made while the hammer is falling in acceptance of a prior bid the auctioneer may in his discretion reopen the bidding or declare the goods sold under the bid on which the hammer was falling.
  3. Such a sale is with reserve unless the goods are in explicit terms put up without reserve. In an auction with reserve the auctioneer may withdraw the goods at any time until he announces completion of the sale. In an auction without reserve, after the auctioneer calls for bids on an article or lot, that article or lot cannot be withdrawn unless no bid is made within a reasonable time. In either case a bidder may retract his bid until the auctioneer’s announcement of completion of the sale, but a bidder’s retraction does not revive any previous bid.
  4. If the auctioneer knowingly receives a bid on the seller’s behalf or the seller makes or procures such a bid, and notice has not been given that liberty for such bidding is reserved, the buyer may at his option avoid the sale or take the goods at the price of the last good faith bid prior to the completion of the sale. This subsection shall not apply to any bid at a forced sale.

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