Peddlers and Solicitors Law and Legal Definition

The activities of peddlers, solicitors, transient or itinerant dealers may be regulated under the police powers of the state in order to protect the public health, morals, and welfare. Such regulation, however, is subject to constitutional limitations. A state may also tax such activities. Municipalities may also be expressly granted the power to prohibit sales made by peddlers, solicitors, and the like.

A common regulation of peddling, transient or itinerant dealings, or soliciting, as distinguished is the requirement that the regulated person obtain a license or permit and pay a license fee or tax. These regulations are usually enforced with punishment by fine or imprisonment, or both. In addition, failure to obtain the required license or pay the required fee may make any contracts made by the unlicensed person unenforceable. An owner or occupant of private premises ordinarily has the right to permit particular persons or groups to enter, while prohibiting or excluding others. Accordingly, a private owner of premises who erects a sign prohibiting solicitation on the premises makes trespassers of anyone who disregards it.

The Federal Trade Commission has enacted a consumer trade regulation which provides for a 3-day cooling-off period for door-to-door sales and disclosure of the buyer's right to cancel. The Rule requires that at the time of signing or agreeing to a contract, seller to furnish the buyer a notice that explains the buyer's right to cancel and serves as a form that the buyer may use to effect a cancellation. The seller must also provide the buyer with a receipt or copy of any contract at this time. A conspicuous statement must appear on the contract near the signature of the buyer, or on the front page of the receipt, notifying the buyer of these cancellation rights, and referring to the notice of cancellation form. In addition, at the time the buyer signs the contract or purchases the good or services, the seller must orally inform the buyer of his or her right to cancel. Many states have also enacted similar regulations.