[Adopted 5-17-2011 by Ord. No. 11-02]
This article is to protect against criminal activity, including fraud, disorderly conduct, burglary, and assault, to minimize the unwelcome disturbance of citizens and the disruption of privacy, and to otherwise preserve the public health, safety and welfare by regulating, controlling and licensing solicitors and peddlers. The City has an interest in protecting the well-being, tranquility, and privacy of the home. The privacy includes an ability to avoid unwelcome intrusions, and the City has a responsibility to protect citizens from such intrusions. The City also has an interest in protecting consumers from inappropriate or fraudulent practices and to protect its citizens from criminal activity such as disorderly conduct, theft, trespass and assault. The City has the responsibility to protect its citizens from actual harm as well as to protect them from potential harm which may result from unregulated door-to-door solicitation. There must be a balance of these legitimate interests of the City and the effect of the regulations on the rights of those who are regulated. Based upon the information which the City has considered and the experience of its officers and those affected by door-to-door canvassing and solicitation, the City finds that the procedures, rules and regulations set forth in this article are tailored narrowly to preserve and protect the City's interests reflected herein while at the same time balancing the right of those regulated.
Authority is granted cities and towns by Wyoming Statutes §§ 15-1-103(a)(xiii) and 33-20-201 through 33-20-210 to regulate and license the conduct of sales by temporary or transient merchants for the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens.
The City Clerk is authorized to request any supporting documentation in conjunction with applications filed for a Solicitor's business license, or to ascertain requests for exemption from a license as set forth in this article.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this article:
- An individual who is an independent contractor or sole proprietor acting as a salesperson representing self or representing the seller under a 1099 statement with the IRS, or an association, firm corporation or other organization (hereafter referred to as "company"), or a salesperson who is an employee of the company and is receiving a W-2 statement for the IRS, or who is an officer or owner of a company and will be soliciting sales in the City at any time.
- HOME SOLICITATION SALE
- A consumer cash sale or credit sale of goods or services in which the seller or a person acting for him engages in a face-to-face solicitation of the sale at a residence or place of employment of the buyer and the buyer's agreement to offer to purchase is there given to the seller or a person acting for him. It does not include a sale made pursuant to preexisting open-end account, or a sale made between the parties at a business establishment at a fixed location where goods or services are offered or exhibited for sales.
- LICENSED SOLICITOR
- Any person who is subject to this article who had obtained a valid solicitor's license from the City Clerk for the purpose of soliciting.
- Any living unit contained within any building or structure that is occupied by any person as a dwelling consistent with the legal zoning/land use definitions of the City.
- SOLICITING or SOLICITATION
- means any of the following activities designed or intended to seek, obtain, promote or facilitate home solicitation sale:
- A. Seeking or attempting to obtain orders for the sale or exchange of goods, wares, merchandise or perishables of any kind, for any kind of remuneration or consideration, regardless of whether advance payment is sought;
- B. Seeking or attempting to obtain prospective customers to apply for or to purchase insurance, subscriptions to publications, or publications;
- C. Seeking or attempting to obtain contributions of money or any other thing of value for the benefit of any association, organization, corporation, or program;
- D. Seeking to obtain orders or prospective customers for goods or services;
- E. Other activities falling within the commonly accepted definition of "soliciting."
- SOLICITOR or SOLICITORS
- A person or persons who goes upon the premises of any private property or residence in the City, not having been invited by the occupant thereof, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of merchandise, wares, or other personal property of any nature for immediate or future delivery, or for services to be performed immediately or in the future. This definition also includes any person who, without invitation, goes upon private property to request contribution of funds or anything of value, or sell goods or services for political, charitable, religious, or other noncommercial purposes, and who are engaged in the activities defined as "soliciting."
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in peddling or solicitation activities within the City without first obtaining a license issued by the City Clerk. Unless authorized or permitted pursuant to the terms and provisions of this article, the practice of being in and upon private residential property within the City by solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants and transient vendors of merchandise and/or services for the purpose of home solicitation sales, soliciting, or soliciting orders for the sale of goods, wares, merchandise and/or services, and/or for the purpose of disposing and/or peddling or hawking, the same is prohibited and is punishable as set forth in this article.
The prohibition under § 11-62 shall not apply if the owner or occupant of the private residential property has previously and specifically invited the solicitor to the private residential property. Such invitation shall not relieve the solicitor from complying with all other terms and provisions of this article.
The terms and provisions of this article do not apply to persons engaged in noncommercial distribution of religious tracts and information, the door-to-door canvassing and pamphleteering as vehicles for the dissemination of ideas or engaged in political activities as a candidate or on behalf of a candidate in a recognized federal, state or local election. All other solicitors doing business within the City are nonexempt and shall comply with the provisions of this article.
The prohibition under § 11-62 shall not apply if the solicitor is working on behalf of a charitable organization recognized as such under regulations issued by the IRS pursuant to its authority created by the terms of 26 U.S.C. § 501. Any solicitor claiming such exception shall provide written verification to the City Clerk and receive approval from such City Clerk prior to engaging in any soliciting within the City. Such approval shall be evidenced by such documentation as determined appropriate by the City Clerk. The charitable exception shall apply generally to persons who make solicitations for a church, religious organization or charitable organization recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit corporation, and shall include any unincorporated association or corporation under the supervision and control of any church, charitable organization or religious organization, if the church or organization is tax exempt under IRS regulations. The charitable exception shall apply to students soliciting contributions to finance extracurricular social, athletic, artistic, scientific or cultural programs, provided that the solicitation has been approved by the school principal or superintendent of schools and such approval has been filed in writing with the City Clerk.
Persons desiring a solicitor's business license must submit written application on forms provided by the City Clerk, together with payment of the licensing fee, to the office of City Clerk. The applicant shall state upon oath or affirmation that the information contained in the application is truthfully provided to the best of the knowledge and belief of the applicant. The applicant shall supply the following information and any such additional information that the City Clerk may include upon the application form:
The applicant's true and correct legal name, and any former names or aliases;
The applicant's telephone number, home address and mailing address;
If different from the applicant, the name, address and phone number of the responsible person or entity;
The name, address and phone number of applicant's immediate supervisor, if any;
The purpose for which soliciting will be done;
Whether a permit, license or registration in connection with soliciting has ever been revoked by any jurisdiction, explaining the circumstances;
Proof the Applicant or the Applicant's company has registered with the Wyoming Department of Revenue for the payment of sales tax;
The identification of the goods or services offered by the applicant, including commonly known, registered or trademarked names.
No license shall be issued to any applicant until the applicant establishes proof of identification. The City Clerk shall verify an applicant's true identity by use of any of the following that bear a photograph of said applicant:
Every person licensed pursuant to this article must at all times possess and display such license in a conspicuous place while carrying on the solicitations. All licensed solicitors must produce and exhibit the same whenever requested to do so by any police officer or by any other person.
No person will engage in solicitation upon any premises without a prior invitation from the occupant thereof if such premises is posted with a notice prominently displayed upon which is printed the legend "No Solicitors" (or words of similar import). For the purposes of this subsection, a dwelling house or apartment or other residence will be deemed to be posted against solicitation if the above notice is exhibited on or near the main entrance to the premises or on or near the main door to any residence located thereon.
No person will engage in solicitation upon any premises or in any dwelling house, apartment or other residence after having been asked by the owner or occupant thereof to leave such premises or residence.
There will be no solicitation upon any premises, other than upon prior invitation of the occupant of any such premises, prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., local time, of any day.
Not more than two individuals will engage in solicitation upon any premises at the same time for the same goods or merchandise, services, or for religious or charitable purposes. Each individual member of a group engaged in solicitation in violation of this provision will be deemed to have violated such provision.
No person engaged in solicitation will, at the time of initial contact with a prospective customer or donor, fail to verbally identify himself or herself and the purpose of the solicitation.
No person engaged in solicitation will misrepresent the purpose of the solicitation or use any false, deceptive or misleading misrepresentation to induce a sale or contribution or use any plan, scheme or use which misrepresents the true status or mission of the person making the call.
Each license for a solicitor issued will be effective for 14 days.
Any person who violates any provision of this article will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable pursuant to the general penalty provision of the City Code. The City Clerk will have the authority to sign and file complaints with municipal court for the City against those persons violating the provisions of this article. Each day a violation continues will be deemed a separate offense.