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For entrepreneurs who sell products door-to-door, as well as for anyone who solicits products, it’s necessary to have a peddler/solicitor - transient merchant license. This business license gives you the permission to sell your wares in neighborhoods.

Who Needs a Solicitor License

If you fall into any of the following categories, you need a peddler, solicitor, or transient merchant license:

  • Peddler: You go door-to-door to sell products or services that you immediately deliver. An example would be someone selling carpet cleaning services that they provided as soon as the purchase was made.
  • Solicitor: You go door-to-door to sell products or services that will be delivered later. So if you sell magazine subscriptions that will be sent in the mail later, you are considered a solicitor.
  • Transient Merchant: You sell products or services in a fixed location that you’re only at temporarily. An example would be a hot dog vendor temporarily set up in a parking lot.

You don’t need a license if you:

  • Sell farm or garden products that you grew.
  • Are representing a non-commercial educational organization.
  • Hold a garage sale.
  • Are a food vendor and are already licensed through the appropriate authority.
  • Are part of a city-sponsored event.

Depending on what your business sells, you may need other business licenses, permits & tax forms, so check with your city before you begin operating.

Your Solicitor License Application

When filling out your peddler/solicitor - transient merchant license, you’ll be asked to provide the last few cities where you sold your goods. You’ll also need to answer questions about whether you’ve ever been convicted of a felony, and whether you are incorporated or not. You will be responsible for a fee associated with the business license.

Once you are approved for your solicitor license, you will be provided with an identification card you can show to the people you try to sell to as proof that the city has authorized you as a peddler, solicitor, or transient merchant.