Mississippi Auctioneer Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
July 26, 2022
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Mississippi Auctioneer Bond.
*Auctioneers that own an auction firm are only required to purchase one surety bond.
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $100 per year
- Bond Amount: $10,000
- Who Needs it: All auctioneers and auction firms operating in Mississippi
- Purpose: To ensure the public is compensated for damages should the auctioneer fail to comply with licensing law
- Who Regulates Auctioneers in Mississippi: The Mississippi Auctioneer Commission
Mississippi Code 73-4-5 requires all auctioneers and auction firms operating in the state to obtain a license with the Mississippi Auctioneer Commission. The state legislature enacted the licensing laws and regulations to ensure that auctioneers engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, auctioneers/firms must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the Mississippi Auctioneer Bond?
Mississippi requires auctioneers/firms to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a business license. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the auctioneer fails to comply with the regulations set forth in Mississippi Code 73-4-29. Specifically, the bond protects the public in the event the auctioneer commits fraud, fails to provide consumers with all goods that have been paid for, or does not maintain an accurate record of transactions. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the auctioneer violates the terms of their license.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Mississippi Auctioneer Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Mississippi Auctioneer Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Auctioneer” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Mississippi Auctioneer Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Mississippi Auctioneer bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all auctioneers operating in the state, regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Mississippi Auctioneer Bond Cost?
The Mississippi Auctioneer bond typically costs just $100 per year.
Who is Required to Purchase the Mississippi Auctioneer Bond?
Mississippi requires auctioneers and auction firms to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a business license. To paraphrase Mississippi Code 73-4-3, an auctioneer is a person that sells property to the highest bidder at an auction. Likewise, an auction firm is a location where property is sold at auction regularly. Exemptions to these definitions include:
- Sales conducted by a charitable or nonprofit organization
- Sales conducted by a federal or state government employee in relation to their job duties
- Sales conducted by courts
- Individuals selling their own property
- Real estate agents, brokers, and salespersons
- Sales conducted by a sealed bid
- A foreclosure sale of realty conducted personally by a trustee
- A foreclosure sale of personal property conducted by a mortgagee
- Auctions conducted for educational purposes
- Auctions conducted by stockyards or market agencies
How Do Auctioneers Apply for a License in Mississippi?
Auctioneers/firms in Mississippi must navigate several steps to secure their licenses. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the licensing statutes for details on the process.
License Period – All Mississippi Auctioneer Licenses expire on March 1 of odd-numbered years (2021, 2023, etc.) and must be renewed before the expiration date.
Step 1 – Meet the Experience Requirements
To become a licensed auctioneer in Mississippi, applicants must ensure that they satisfy all of the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Obtained a high school diploma or G.E.D equivalent
- Graduated from an approved auctioneer school
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Auctioneers and auction firms are required to purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
Auctioneers/firms should submit their completed license applications, including a $300 application fee, to the following address:
State of Mississippi Auctioneers Commission
PO Box 50
Morton MS 39117-0050
Auctioneers must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:
- Surety bond
- Recommendations from two references that have known the applicant for a minimum of three years
- Confirmation of an escrow or trust account to hold consumer funds
- Voter registration card (notarized copy)
- Photocopy of driver’s license
- Auctioneer school certificate
All applicants are subject to a background check. Additionally, the commission may require the applicant to complete an in-person interview if it is deemed necessary.
Step 4 – Pass the Exam
Applicants are required to pass an exam administered by the Auctioneer Commission before being issued their license. After reviewing their application, the commission will contact the applicant and provide them with instructions on how to schedule an exam. There is a $100 examination fee that must be paid each time the exam is taken.
*Auctioneers that own an auction firm and are the sole auctioneer are only required to purchase one surety bond and obtain one license. However, they will need to obtain a license for each additional auction firm they operate.
How Do Mississippi Auctioneers Renew Their Licenses?
Auctioneers/firms should submit their completed renewal applications, including a $200 renewal fee, online here. All Mississippi Auctioneer Licenses expire on March 1 of odd-numbered years (2021, 2023, etc.) and must be renewed before the expiration date. Applicants that submit a renewal after March 1st will be required to retake and pass the license exam.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Auctioneers in Mississippi?
Mississippi does not require auctioneers/firms to obtain any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a state license. Auctioneers/firms must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond.
How Do Mississippi Auctioneers File Their Bonds?
Auctioneers/firms should mail their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the following address:
State of Mississippi Auctioneers Commission
PO Box 50
Morton MS 39117-0050
The bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the applicant. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name and address of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Name, address, phone number, and email address of the surety company
- Date and time the bond is signed
What Can Mississippi Auctioneers do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bond, auctioneers/firms in Mississippi must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage in any acts of fraud
- Provide all goods that have been paid for
- Maintain an accurate record of transactions
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Auctioneers in Mississippi?
Mississippi does not require auctioneers to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a state license. However, most reputable auctioneers/firms will obtain this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Mississippi Auctioneer Customers?
Mississippi unfortunately does not provide a public database of active auctioneers in the state. We suggest contacting the Mississippi Auctioneer Commission to obtain this information. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.