State Auction Laws & Auctioneer Licensing

U.S. State Auction Laws & Auctioneer Licensing Requirements

This is a list of Auction Laws and Auctioneer Licensing for the States in the U.S.A. (as of Dec 1, 2011).

While some states may not specifically require an auctioneer license, there may be other requirements for operating an auction business in the State or various local jurisdictions. Of course, in most states, there are other business requirements in addition to specific licensing requirements for an auctioneer.

Clicking on the State will open a new window to the various government boards and licensing requirements.

The following designates general auctioneer licensing requirements:

# Approved Auctioneer Course Required for licensing.

@ Approved Auctioneer Course and/or Apprenticeship Requirements for licensing.

+ Continuing Education Course Required for license renewal.

Also see Notes indicated by clicking on the Numbers in Brackets [ ] for additional information.

Alabama (@) (+)

Alaska – No State License
Alaska Business Licensing may be required

Arizona – No State License
Licensing requirements may exist for some cities
Other auction licensing may be required for certain goods

Arkansas (+)

California – No State License
$20,000 bond must be filed with the Secretary of State.
Some local governments may have licensing requirements.

Colorado – No State License [1]

Connecticut – No State License
City license may be required. Equine, vehicles & real estate auctions subject to additional laws and licensing.

DelawareAuctioneer License Fee” only

District of Columbia

Florida (@)

Georgia (#) (+)
Online Auctions (including “Penny Auctions”) are also required to be licensed

Hawaii – No State License [3]

Idaho – No State License [1]

Auction License Act – scheduled to be repealed January 1, 2020
Art Auction House Act
Livestock Auction Market Law
Internet Auction Registration Required

Indiana (#) (+)

Iowa – No State License [2]

Kansas – No State License
City/County auction licensing required for New Goods
Other licensing may be required for livestock & vehicles

Kentucky Apprenticeship Required (+)

Louisiana (@)


Maryland – No State License [3]

Massachusetts (#)


Minnesota – State License issued by Counties
Auctioneer Laws annotated by Anoka County
Also See MN State Auctioneer Licensing Law

Mississippi (#)

Missouri – County Licensing requirements

Montana – No State License [3]

Nebraska – No State License [1]

Nevada – No State License
Business license and/or other licensing, such as real estate & Livestock Auction Licensing, may be required

New Hampshire (@)

New Jersey – No State License [1]

New Mexico – No State License [1]

New York – No State License [2]

North Carolina (@) (+)

North Dakota (#)

Ohio (@)

Oklahoma – No State License [2]

Oregon – No State License [1]

Pennsylvania (@)
Special license required for Online “Trading Assistant”

Rhode Island (@)

South Carolina (@) (+)

South DakotaReal Estate Auctioneers ONLY

Tennessee (@) (+)

Texas (#) (+)

Utah – No State License [1]

Vermont (@)

Virginia (#) (+)


West Virginia

Wisconsin (+)

Wyoming – No State License [1]




# Approved Auctioneer Course Required for licensing.


@ Approved Auctioneer Course and/or Apprenticeship Requirements for licensing.


+ Continuing Education Course Required for license renewal.


[1] No State License requirements found as of 2012


[2] Licensing requirements may exist for some cities


[3] Licensing requirements may exist for some cities and/or counties


If you have Questions or Comments, please post them on the Questions & Comments page.

34 Responses to State Auction Laws & Auctioneer Licensing

  1. […] Auctioneer Laws. Now, you can find all the auction laws listed on this site, as I just added a New Page to the Auction Law Weblog. You will find  links to  the respective state government websites with […]

  2. […] their own additional laws or administrative rules that also govern auctions. You can find a list of State Auction Laws & Auctioneer Licensing Information in the upper right corner of this weblog under “Pages“. (This has replaced the old link […]

  3. Yvette says:

    You do need a State Auctioneers license. This is obtained at the courthouse in each county. A bond is required with proof of school or equivalent. You can auction real estate with this license, but can NOT handle any part of the closing or process. Must be a licensed broker or attorney. This license is also for Personal Property, etc.

  4. Auction Law says:

    Since it appears that you are from Minnesota (based on your website url), I did a little more searching and have found some additional information and the state law covering the licensing of auctioneers. I have updated the list.

    I always encourage everyone to check ALL laws for their particular state. Not ALL, but most states have similar laws regarding the sale of real estate at auction. Of course, there are some states that also require a real estate license, in addition to an auctioneer license to sell real estate at auction. However, I am limiting this page to just the requirements for general auction law and auctioneer licensing.


  5. AlexM says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  6. Steve Alter says:

    If you’re selling commercial real estate via an online auction is their any licensing required? Some of the brokers we serve would like us to receive pmt. only if and when it closes.

    Steve Alter

  7. Auction Law says:

    It would be difficult to specifically answer your question in general terms, as real estate laws, as well as auction laws vary from state to state. As an example, Pennsylvania just passed a law for online traders, who take property on consignment to be licensed. While they are not licensed as an auctioneer, they must meet certain requisite to sell such items of others.

    However, the best answer I can give you is, in most every state that I’m aware of, you must be a licensed real estate agent to offer other people’s real property for sale to others.

    Not all states require an auctioneer to be licensed as a real estate agent (some do), to offer a single property for auction, as a sole agent for the seller. However, they can not complete the sales contract and must use a licensed broker or a lawyer for this.

    If you are only offering a venue for brokers to list their property (i.e. online website), then you may not have any requirement to be licensed, as you are only offering an advertising medium.

    As far as whether you allow the broker to pay you at closing, is up to you. However, whether a broker advertises in the newspaper or on eBay, they have to pay for the services at the prevailing rate and terms set by the advertising medium. Personally, I wouldn’t do it any other way, as that is a normal cost of doing business, and a newspaper isn’t going to advertise for them, based on whether or not the property sells. However, that is your business decision, based on your business model and what you’re offering to your clients.

  8. Arnold says:

    I am planning on starting an online auto auction company just like, i reside in Texas and was wondering if you would know the requirements for running auctions like this. It is strictly going to be online and the vehicles are not going to be in my possession.

  9. Auction Law says:

    Arnold, you can find the link to the Texas auctioneer law above. At this time, there are no specific licensing requirements for running an online auction in Texas. However, you may want to check with an attorney to insure that your operation is not in a gray area that could get you into trouble.

  10. Jason says:

    how can i find sate to state online auctioneering laws

    • Auction Law says:

      This website is designed primarily to provide information about the original real-world profession of the Live auction, that’s been around for at least 2500 years.

      At this point in time, very few states have passed laws concerning online auctions. However, as the pitfalls and scams continue to plague the world of online selling, we may see more and more of these laws being considered by our legislators.

      However, while the occasional topic of online auctions may be addressed, the Auction Law site is based on information concerning Live Auctioneers. You may want to poise this question to the hundreds (or thousands) of online forums and blogs that talk about online auctions. You might want to try for info about online auctions.

  11. Chrissy says:

    THIS QUESTION IS FOR AUCTIONEERS….I attended an auction today in Maryland and was deemed the highest bidder of a storage unit. The auctioneer took my name and had me immediately place my lock on the unit (as I did). (All units must be emptied in 24 hours) At the end of the auction I went to pay my bid and went to present a check/credit card. At that time I was told their machines were down and I would have to pay with cash. The owner said why dont I just run over to the bank then come back to pay. I said I would prolly be at least an hour at which time he said no need to rush and I could Take my time. Needless to say, with my newly aquired unit locked, I proceeded to the bank. I came back about 3 hours later with the cash (it was a large sum of money) to pay. At that time, the owner said, Oh my God I didnt think you were coming back so I called my District Manager and he said to just call the second highest bidder and offer it to him (mind you this is 3 hours after the auction closed, this bidder was not there and there wasnt even a record of a second highest bidder). So he went on to tell me that he sold that unit to the second highest bidder. I said, but my lock is on that unit and I was the highest bidder and he said he didnt think I was coming back so he didnt know what to do. So in the meantime as Im talking to this owner the NEW OWNER/SECOND HIGHEST BIDDER is removing the contents of the storage unit (and yes they used boltcutters to remove the lock)**Please note the auctioneer never collected any of the bidders monies we would just pay the storage facility. So once the auctioneering was over the auctioneer just left, he never waited around for anyone to pay. IS THIS LEGAL IN MARYLAND?

  12. Auction Law says:

    From your description of events, I would say that you could take the lien holder to court. However, since you never paid, it may not do a lot of good. You may also be able to file charges against him for selling your goods, as technically, they became YOURS upon the call of “sold.”

    Of course, the lien holder should have called you before selling it to someone else. For that matter, three hours is quite a while, so you might have called him to explain why it’s taking so long to get back. In any case, there’s always two sides to a story and it’s hard to guess what the other person perceived, in determining whether their actions were right or wrong.

  13. chad says:

    do you need a Minnesota state license even if your opperating just and online auction site.

    • Auction Law says:

      As I’ve noted in my first post, Introduction to Auction Law, I don’t really keep up with the online auction laws. There have been numerous states that have passed legislation regarding this subject, some requiring licensing in some form or another and others specifically stating that licensing is not required.

      In the upper right corner of this blog, you will find a link to State Auction Laws & Auctioneer Licensing Requirements, which has a list of state auctioneer licensing websites. Most of those websites will also have links to the related auction laws for the state and you can search through the website to find the law for your particular state.

      There is another blog on the web, under which had an older post about online auction licensing. I don’t know if she keeps it updated, but her website is targeted at the online auctions versus Real Live Auctions, which actually operate a bit differently. Of course, that is the reason I decided to start this blog, as there are hundreds/thousands of forum about online auctions, but it’s hard to find real information about Live Auctions, so I’m just trying to fill in the gap a little.

  14. Jack says:

    Who would I check with pertaining NY state rules surrounding licenses/permits. I have tried reaching out to the town and city with no avail

  15. Auction Law says:

    From what I understand, New York has no state licensing law. However, New York City does have local auction licensing laws that you would have to comply with, if auctioning in that city. So, unless you are auctioning within a particular city that has such laws, you aren’t required to be licensed as an auctioneer.

    Of course, such lack of requirements have also led to many so-called auctioneers, which also do not understand the laws that must still be considered when selling at auction. The lack of requiring a license does not alleviate you from complying with many other laws that you should be aware of, prior to selling many different types of property.

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