Auctioneer Licensing

Like many professions, auctioneers may need a professional license to conduct business in a particular state. Currently, 27 states require auctioneers to hold a professional license. 

Licensure requirements vary from state to state, from simply registering and paying fees to more exacting educational requirements and professional standards. In general, states that have licensing laws require applicants:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED; 
  • Complete a course of study at a state approved auction school or program, or complete an apprenticeship under a state-licensed auctioneer; 
  • Pass a written exam and a criminal background check; 
  • Submit fees to a state recovery fund or hold a bond; and 
  • Complete a determined number of hours of continuing education during the licensing period. 

Many auctioneers conduct sales in more than one state. Many states, through reciprocity agreements, allow auctioneers with licenses in other states to conduct sales there. Reciprocity agreements are reached when two states have similar licensing requirements for auctioneers.
There are additional statutory requirements auctioneers must meet depending upon the commodities they specialize in. For example, all 50 states require real estate transactions be handled by a licensed realtor. Auctioneers must also meet the licensing requirements for realtors in order to handle all aspects of a real estate sale.

Finally, city and county governments can require auctioneers to apply for a permit or local license before conducting an auction. Tat the present time Utah does not have a state licensing law but the auctions are controlled by the local city and county governments. For more information please contact a member of the Utah Auctioneers Association.

Courtesy of the National Auctioneers Association