[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Denmark at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any direct seller or solicitor to engage in direct sales or solicitations within the Village without being registered and licensed for that purpose as provided herein.
In this chapter, the terms used shall be defined as follows:
- CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
- Includes any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic or eleemosynary person, partnership, association or corporation, but shall not include religious organizations.
- DIRECT SELLER
- Any person who sells goods or services or takes sales orders for the later delivery of goods at any location other than the permanent business place or residence of said person and shall include, but not be limited to, peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants. For the purpose of this chapter, the acceptance of a "donation" in exchange for goods, or an order for goods, shall be deemed an act requiring compliance with all of the regulatory provisions of this chapter, including registration and the posting of a bond.
- Includes personal property of any kind and shall include goods provided incidental to services offered or sold.
- PERMANENT MERCHANT
- A direct seller who, for at least one year prior to the consideration of the application of this chapter to said merchant, has continuously operated an established place of business in the Village or has continuously resided in the Village and now does business from his or her residence.
The following shall be exempt from all provisions of this chapter:
Any person delivering newspapers, fuel, dairy products or bakery goods to regular customers on established routes.
Any person selling goods at wholesale to dealers in such goods.
Any person selling agricultural products which such person has grown.
Any permanent merchant or employee thereof who takes orders away from the established place of business for goods regularly offered for sale by such merchant within this county and who delivers such goods in his regular course of business.
Any person who has an established place of business where the goods being sold are offered for sale on a regular basis and in which the buyer has initiated contact with and specifically requested a home visit by said person.
Any person who has had, or one who represents a company which has had, a prior business transaction such as a prior sale or credit arrangement on other than a one-time basis with the prospective customer.
Any person selling, or offering for sale, a service not connected with the sale or offering for sale of goods.
Any person holding a sale required by statute or by order of the court and any person conducting a bona fide auction sale pursuant to law.
Any employee, officer or agent of a charitable organization who engages in direct sales for or on behalf of said organization, provided that there is submitted to the Clerk proof that such charitable organization is registered under § 202.12, Wis. Stats. However, any charitable organization not registered under § 202.12, Wis. Stats., or which is exempt from that statute's registration requirements shall be required to register under this chapter.
Any person who claims to be a permanent merchant but against whom complaint has been made to the Clerk that such person is a transient merchant, provided that there is proof submitted to the Clerk that such person has leased for at least one year, or purchased, the premises from which he or she is conducting business, or proof that such person has conducted such business in this Village for at least one year prior to the date complaint was made.
Any religious organization having tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code upon submitting proof thereof to the Clerk.
Any political candidate running for public office or citizens supporting political candidates of legitimate recognized political parties running for public office in compliance with Wisconsin Statutes. Chapter 5 of the Wisconsin Statutes does not prohibit persons from circulating nomination papers, from soliciting signatures, or from soliciting campaign donations for public office.
Legally chartered tax-exempt organizations.
Applicants for registration and licensing must complete and return to the Clerk a registration form furnished by the Clerk which shall require the following information:
Full legal name, permanent address and telephone number and temporary address, if any.
Date of birth, age, height, sex, race, weight, and color of hair and eyes.
Name, address and telephone number of the person, firm, association or corporation that the direct seller represents, is employed by or whose merchandise is being sold.
Temporary address and telephone number from which business shall be conducted, if any.
Nature of business to be conducted and a brief description of the goods offered and any services offered.
Names, addresses, and phone numbers of suppliers of articles to be sold and proposed method of delivery of goods, if applicable.
Make, model, license number and state, color, and year of any vehicle to be used by the applicant in the conduct of his or her business.
Last cities, villages, or towns (not to exceed three) where the applicant conducted similar business.
Place where the applicant can be contacted for at least seven days after leaving the Village.
Names and addresses of at least two Brown County property owners who can vouch for said applicant.
Dates license is required. The dates must be consecutive dates. A new application and license is required for each occasion.
Hours business will be conducted.
Statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime or ordinance violation other than a traffic violation, the nature of the offense, and date of conviction.
Signature of applicant.
Date of application.
Applicants shall present to the Clerk for examination:
A driver's license or some other proof of identity as may be reasonably required by the Clerk.
A State of Wisconsin certificate of examination and approval from the Sealer of Weights and Measures where the applicant's business requires use of weighing and measuring devices approved by State of Wisconsin authorities.
A State of Wisconsin health officer's certificate where the applicant's business involves the handling of food or clothing and is required to be certified under State of Wisconsin law, such certificate to state that the applicant is apparently free from any contagious or infectious disease, dated not more than 90 days prior to the date application for license is made.
At the time the registration is returned, an investigative fee, as listed on the schedule of fees in the office of Clerk, shall be paid to the Clerk to cover the costs of processing said registration. Religious and charitable organizations are exempt from paying said fee.
The applicant shall sign a statement appointing the Clerk his or her agent to accept service of process in any civil action brought against the applicant arising out of any sale or service performed by the applicant in connection with direct sales activities of the applicant in the event the applicant cannot, after reasonable effort, be served personally.
Upon payment of said fee and the signing of said statement, the Clerk shall register the applicant as a direct seller and date the entry. Said registration shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of entry, subject to subsequent refusal as provided in § 135-5B below, or forfeiture as provided in § 135-9 below.
Upon receipt of a completed registration form, the Clerk shall immediately refer it to the Police Department and/or Brown County Sheriff Department to make an investigation. The Police Department, Brown County Sheriff, or his or her designee shall complete the investigation and file a report with the Clerk within 72 hours.
The Clerk shall refuse to issue a license to the applicant for any of the following reasons:
The application contains any material omission or materially inaccurate statement.
The applicant was convicted of a crime, statutory violation or ordinance violation within the last five years, the nature of which is directly related to the applicant's fitness to engage in direct selling or solicitation.
If as a result of the investigation required under this section the applicant's business or character is found to be unsatisfactory, the Police Department, Brown County Sheriff or his or her designee shall endorse on said application his or her disapproval and his or her reasons for the same and return the application to the Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that his or her application was not approved and no license will be issued.
In the event the Clerk shall refuse to issue the applicant a license, the Clerk shall provide the applicant an opportunity to refute said reasons for denial of the license. After the Clerk has made a final determination, he or she shall either issue the license or provide the applicant with written reasons for refusing to issue the license.
Any person denied application for a license may appeal the denial through the appeal procedure provided by Ch. 68, Wis. Stats.
Upon compliance with the forgoing requirements and filing of a bond, if applicable, the Clerk shall register the applicant as a direct seller, transient merchant or solicitor and issue a license to the applicant. The license shall be operative only during the days requested on the registration form.
Such license shall contain the signature of the Clerk, the name and address of the direct seller, transient merchant or solicitor, the type of goods or services being sold or the nature of the solicitation, the dates during which the license is operative and the license number of any vehicle used for sales or solicitation.
Registrants shall exhibit their license at the request of any citizen or police officer.
Every applicant who intends to take sales orders and down payments for the later delivery of goods and services and is not a resident of Brown County, Wisconsin, or who is such a resident and represents a business or organization whose principal place of business is located outside the State of Wisconsin shall file with the Clerk a surety bond. The bond shall be for a term of one year from the date of issuance of the license, naming the Village in the amount of $1,000 conditioned that the applicant comply with all applicable ordinances of this Village and statutes of the State of Wisconsin regulating peddlers, canvassers, solicitors and transient merchants. Such bond shall guarantee to any citizen of this Village that all money paid as a down payment will be accounted for and applied according to the representations of the seller and that the property purchased will be delivered according to the representations of the seller. Action on such bond may be brought by the person aggrieved and for whose benefit, among others, the bond is given. The surety may, pursuant to a court order, pay the face amount of the bond to the Clerk of Courts in which suit is commenced and be relieved of all further liability.
A direct seller shall be prohibited from calling at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., except by appointment; calling at any dwelling or other place where a sign is displayed bearing the words "No Peddlers," "No Solicitors" or words of similar meaning; calling at the rear door of any dwelling place; or remaining on any premises after being asked to leave by the owner, occupant or other person having authority over such premises.
A direct seller shall not represent or make false, deceptive or misleading statements concerning the quality, quantity or character of any goods offered for sale, identity or the identity of the organization he or she represents. A charitable or religious organization direct seller shall specifically disclose what portion of the free donation or the sale price of goods being offered will actually be used for the charitable or religious purpose for which the organization is soliciting. Said portion shall be expressed as a percentage of the sale price of the goods.
No direct seller shall impede the free use of sidewalks and streets by pedestrians and vehicles. Where sales are made from vehicles, all traffic and parking regulations shall be observed.
No direct seller shall make any loud noises or use any sound-amplifying device to attract customers if the noise produced is capable of being plainly heard outside a one-hundred-foot radius of the source.
No direct seller shall allow rubbish or litter to accumulate in or around the area in which he or she is conducting business.
After the initial greeting and before any other statement is made to a prospective customer, a direct seller shall expressly disclose his or her name, the name of the company or organization he or she is affiliated with, if any, and the identity of goods or services he or she offers to sell.
If any sale of goods is made by the direct seller, or any sales order for the later delivery of goods is taken by the seller, the buyer shall have the right to cancel said transaction if it involves the extension of credit of more than $25, or is a cash transaction, in accordance with the procedure as set forth in § 423.203, Wis. Stats., and the seller shall give the buyer two copies of a typed or printed notice of that fact. Such notice shall conform to the requirements of § 423.203(1)(a), (b), and (c), (2) and (3), Wis. Stats.
If the direct seller takes a sales order for the later delivery of goods, he or she shall, at the time the order is taken, provide the buyer with a written statement containing the terms of the agreement; the amount paid in advance, whether full, partial or no advance payment is made; the name, address and telephone number of the seller; the delivery or performance date; and whether a guarantee or warranty is provided and, if so, the terms thereof.
The Village Police Department and/or Brown County Sheriff's Department shall report to the Clerk all convictions for violation of this chapter and the Clerk shall note any such violation on the record of the registrant convicted.
Any license issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Board after notice and hearing if the registrant made any material omission or materially inaccurate statement in the application for a license, made any fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading statement or representation in the course of engaging in direct sales, violated any provision of this chapter or was convicted of any crime or ordinance or statutory violation which is directly related to the registrant's fitness to engage in direct selling.
Written notice of the hearing shall be mailed to the permanent address shown on the registration form at least 15 days or shall be served personally on the registrant at least 72 hours prior to the time set for the hearing. Such notice shall contain the time and place of the hearing and a statement of the facts upon which the hearing will be based.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or who shall fail to obtain a license as required hereunder shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-4 of this Code.