Soon, many Bismarck citizens will be visited by representatives from various companies who are selling their products through door-to-door sales. The Bismarck Police Department would like to remind residents that pursuant to Municipal Ordinance this type of soliciting is legal within city limits, as long as the company has the proper license and permit and follows specific guidelines.
Anyone wishing to conduct door-to-door sales in Bismarck City limits must apply for and receive a permit to conduct business. The permit is issued only after the application has been reviewed and approved and a thorough background check conducted on each person listed on the application.
Below is a list of requirements that must be followed when selling door-to-door:
• All employees of the company must be approved to conduct sales and must have been issued an individual identification badge by the city prior to engaging in any sales.
• The individual identification badge must be worn and clearly displayed at all times by the employee when conducting sales.
• In addition, the salesperson must have a Transient Merchant License issued by the state, with their name on it, in their possession.
• Door-to-door sales are permitted only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
• Sales may not be attempted at any private residence, business, or establishment where there is posted a sign stating “No Trespassing”, “No Soliciting”, or similar notice.
• Employees may not engage in fraud or make any misrepresentations or false statements in the course of carrying on business or engage in any disorderly conduct or commit any crimes.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with a door-to-door salesperson.
• Unless you know the solicitor, do not let them in your home. It is your house and you have the right to say no. If you feel threatened, call the police.
• Always ask to see proper identification, as well as a transient merchant license and city permit before doing business. If the person cannot produce those documents do not deal with them and call the Police.
• Make sure your contract/receipt is dated and shows the business name and street address (not PO Box) of the seller, a telephone number, the cancellation agreement, and the deadline date for cancellation. Do not leave any blank spaces on your contract.
• North Dakota has a home solicitation law. This means that you have three days to change your mind about most purchases of $25 or more made on your doorstep. If you are over 65 years of age, you have fifteen days to cancel a sale of $50 or more. The salesperson must tell you of your right to cancel and the contract must include a statement regarding your right to cancel. You do not have to give a reason for canceling your order.
• Above all else, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY, “NO!” If you can’t get a door-to door salesperson to leave your home when requested, call local law enforcement for help.
Finally, it should be noted that anyone soliciting door-to-door for a charity, religious entity, non-profit organization or political candidate, do not need a permit so long as they comply with the other provisions pertaining to door-to-door sales.
For more information pertaining to the door-to-door sales ordinance go to the Bismarck City Attorney website at www.bismarck.org and click on Code of Ordinances. It is listed under Title 05 - Business Regulations, CHAPTER 5-07 DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES AND SOLICITATION.