Licensure

A current South Carolina Auctioneers' license, Apprentice license and Auction Firm license is required to engage in professional auction activities in this state, as defined in S.C. Code of Laws Title 40 Chapter 6.

Requirements

All applicants for an Auctioneer or Auctioneer Apprentice license in South Carolina must submit a statewide criminal background check from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and/or the equivalent agency in any state the applicant has lived or worked in for the five years immediately preceding the application.

How To Apply
Auction Firm License
To be licensed as an auction firm, a business entity must:

(1) submit a notorized application  along with the required fee;

(2) provide the commission with an authorization by the South Carolina Secretary of State's office to transact business in this State;

(3) if owned or managed by a:

(a) licensed auctioneer, provide the commission with the name of the auctioneer and written evidence of the auctioneer's authority to make the decisions affecting the manner in which the firm does business; or

(b) person not licensed as an auctioneer under this chapter,  must achieve a passing score on a written examination approved by the commission intended to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the law relating to the conduct of the auction business and other matters the commission considers appropriate.

(4) A complete the Escrow/Trust Account Certification Affidavit that is notarized.

(5) Out-of-state firms applying for a license, complete the Designation of Agent for the Service of Process form provided. The form must be notarized. Partners or officers of a firm or company must sign as principals for the firm or company.

Note for Firm License:

  • A sole proprietorship is exempt from auction firm licensure.
  • Licensed real estate brokers-in-charge and real estate firms are exempt from auction firm licensure, if they employ a licensed auctioneer to handle those aspects of the transactions peculiar to the auctioneer profession.
Auctioneer License: The applicant must be eighteen years of age or older and the following must be included with the written notarized application:

(1)The required fee, and photograph;

(2) Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

(a) one year of apprenticeship; or

(b) eighty hours of classroom instruction in a course in auctioneering at an institution approved by the commission, or the substantial equivalent)  The Applicant must submit either a copy of diploma or signed evaluation statement from apprentice supervisor;

(3) provide a criminal history conviction record from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and/or the equivalent agency in any state the applicant has lived or worked in for the five years immediately preceding the application that affirms that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or any other crime involving fraud or moral turpitude during the preceding five years;

(4) A satisfactory credit report obtained by the Commission.

(5) A completed Escrow/Trust Account Certification Affidavit that is notarized.

Apprentice Auctioneer License: The applicant must be eighteen years of age or older and the following must be including in the written notarized application form:

(1)  the required application fee and photograph;.

(2) Information completed by  a licensed Auctioneer to serve as the supervisor of the apprentice;

(3) a criminal history conviction record from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and/or the equivalent agency in any state the applicant has lived or worked in for the five years immediately preceding the application that affirms that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or any other crime involving fraud or moral turpitude during the preceding five years;

(4) A satisfactory credit report obtained by the Commission.

Important Note: No apprentice auctioneer may enter into an agreement to conduct an auction or conduct an auction without the express written approval of the supervisor of the apprentice auctioneer. The supervisor shall review, at regular intervals, the records that the apprentice auctioneer is required to maintain to ensure they are current and accurate.

Reciprocal Auctioneer  license applicants (No firm or apprentice):

(A) Complete a notarized application with a photograph and fee;

(B) Documentation that the requirements of the state of licensure were, on the date of initial licensure, substantially equivalent to the requirements of this chapter.

(C) The applicant provides a certification letter from the resident state's licensing board or commission indicating the auctioneer license in that state is current and in good standing.

All Non-resident licensing applicants:  Along with the required written application requirements, the non-resident must complete the Designation of Agent for the Service of Process form provided. This form must be notarized.

No licensing application will be considered for testing or licensing until the entire packet is completed.

You will be notified by email or mail of your scheduled examination date, if required.

Return the completed Application packets to:

S.C. Dept. Of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Auctioneers' Commission
Post Office Box 11329
Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1329
(803) 896-4670 FAX (803) 896-4554

Fee Information

RENEWAL - Auctioneer:

1. Biennial Renewal (every two years) $300

NEW LICENSE - Auctioneer:

1. Two-Year License $300

2. Recovery Fund $100

3. Examination Fee $25

4. Credit Report $10

Total: $435
(Reciprocal applicants must submit $410 since no examination is required.)

RENEWAL - Auction Firm:

1. Biennial Renewal (every two years) $300

NEW LICENSE - Auction Firm:

1. Two-Year License $300 
2. Recovery Fund $100 

Total: $400 

RENEWAL – Apprentice Auctioneer:

1. One-Year License $200 ($150 license fee and $50 recovery fund fee)

NEW LICENSE – Apprentice Auctioneer

1. One-Year License $150

2. Recovery Fund $50

3. Examination Fee $25

4. Credit Report $10 Total: $235
(Apprentice Auctioneer licenses are issued for one year and may be renewed one time.)

Other Fees:

Licensee List Request : $10
Duplicate License: $10 (wallet card)
Verification of License: $5 (online and in-house)
Name or Address change with a new license card issued: $10

*There is no charge for address or name changes made for the board's record only. The charge applies if a new license card is requested.

Renew Your License

RENEWAL - Auctioneer:

1. Biennial Renewal (every two years) $300

RENEWAL - Auction Firm:

1. Biennial Renewal (every two years) $300

RENEWAL – Apprentice Auctioneer:

1. One-Year License $200 ($150 license fee and $50 recovery fund fee)

FAQ

Q. What do I have to do to become an auctioneer in S.C.?

A. All applicants for an auctioneer license in S.C. must be at least eighteen years old. There are three ways to qualify for an auctioneer license in South Carolina:

Complete an 80-hour Approved Auctioneer Course: Complete at least eighty (80) hours of classroom instruction in an auctioneering course at an institution approved by the Commission, submit an application packet, and pass the written examination provided by the Commission. A list of approved schools is available under the "Licensure" section of this website.

Obtain an apprentice auctioneer license: Submit an application for an apprentice auctioneer license, take and pass the apprentice examination. After passing the examination, you may then serve as an apprentice auctioneer for not less than one year nor more than two years. An apprentice auctioneer must make monthly reports to the Commission and include an evaluation by his/her supervisor. You must be licensed as an apprentice auctioneer, before you can begin serving as an apprentice.

Reciprocity: An individual who is licensed as an auctioneer in a state that S.C. has a written reciprocal agreement may be licensed without examination. A list of reciprocal states can be found on this website under the "Licensure" section.

Q. Are there a certain number of hours an apprentice must complete to be eligible for an auctioneer license?

A. Yes. S.C. Code of Regulations, Section 14.13 provides that an apprentice shall complete 80 hours of supervised training, including 40 hours of auctioneering, ten hours of auction ringing, 20 hours of clerking, and ten hours of cashiering. Such training must be completed in not less than one year not more than two years.

Q. Is an auction firm license required?

A. Yes. A business entity such as a partnership, limited liability partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other business association is required to obtain a firm license, including those whose partners, shareholders, etc. are all licensed auctioneers. The only firms that are exempt from firm registration are sole proprietorships, which are defined in Section 40-6-20(10) as an auction business owned in its entirety by an auctioneer.

Q. Do I have to maintain an Escrow Account?

A. A licensee who handles the proceeds of an auction must maintain a trust or escrow account if the auction proceeds are not paid to owners/consignors within 3 business days.

Q. Do I have to complete an Escrow form even though I don't maintain an escrow account?

A. Yes. All applicants are required to submit an Escrow Trust Account Affidavit. There is a section on the form for individuals seeking exemption from the escrow account requirement.

Q. How do I obtain a letter of good standing or verification of my S.C. license?

A. Requests for license verifications are done on this website under "Online Services" or https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/SSO/Login/LoginPage?ReturnUrl=%2fOnlineVerification2%2f.   There is a $5 fee for each request.