Soliciting seems to be a hot topic in many of the neighborhoods in Holly Springs. Door-to-door soliciting has been around for a very long time. It seems that solicitors have a knack for coming at the worst times.
Soliciting is legal in Holly Springs, but there is more regulation than you may think. Below you’ll find the facts about peddling door-to-door in Holly Springs. If you have a problem with people coming to your door, there are ways to hinder it.
The following is directly from the Holly Springs Government web page, outlining the specifics:
Town of Holly Springs, N.C. Solicitors / Peddlers Ordinance Rules & Procedures
Failure to comply with the following rules may result in the revocation of your permit(s) and by any or both of the following ways as provided by law:
1. A violator can be charged with a Class 3 Misdemeanor and fined up to $100 or imprisoned for up to 20 days.
2. A violator may be cited for each offense, and each citation would carry a $100 penalty.
According to Chapter 4, Article 5 of the Town of Holly Springs Town Code, the following rules apply to any persons soliciting in Holly Springs:
1. Applicant must purchase a surety bond (in the total penal amount of $5,000) from an insurance company covering the applicant and any agents, employees or other persons who would be conducting business under the permit. Beneficiary of the bond would be the Town of Holly Springs, and such bond would be for the use and benefit of all persons who may make any purchase or give any order to an applicant or agent or employee of the applicant. The bond shall be in effect for 180 days from expiration of the permit.
If applicant works for a bonded company, a certificate of insurance from that company will suffice.
This requirement does not apply to solicitors who (a) provide immediate delivery of goods and (b) who do not use product demonstrations that may cause damage to property AND (c) who do not use an off-road vehicle such as a push-cart or bicycle in conducting sales.
2. A permit issued by the Town Clerk’s Office is required BEFORE applicants can begin going door-to-door. Apply at the Holly Springs Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall, 128 S. Main Street, for a permit to conduct business in the Town of Holly Springs as a solicitor. The cost to apply is $25 and is payable upon receipt of permit approval, if an application is approved. Permits are issued within five (5) business days of application.
3. Applicant (or sponsoring organization or business) must also pay a privilege license tax in the Town of Holly Springs Finance Office, 128 S. Main Street. The cost of a privilege license for a full year is generally $25 or $12.50 for a half year. This is a tax on the privilege of doing business in Holly Springs and is required by ordinance. The privilege license tax may be paid at the same time fees are paid for the solicitor’s permit.
4. Permits expire whenever the earliest of the following events occurs: 12 months; or when any information contained on the application changes. In the event any information changes, a new application must be filed and applicable fees paid.
5. Any representative of the Holly Springs Police Department may revoke a permit when there is a reasonable factual basis that doing so would be in the best interest of the health, safety, welfare and morals of the public.
6. A permit is not transferable to another person.
1. A single permit may be used by the applicant and up to 9 other people, provided the names of
the other permit holders are named on the face of the permit.
2. If there are more than 10 total users, additional original permits would be required and the non-
refundable application fee of $25 would be charged for each application processed; however, only a single surety bond and a single privilege license would be required.
3. The applicant should carry the original, and each other person in the group must carry a duplicate original or a Certified Copy of the Original Permit, certified by the Town Clerk.
4. Each person in the group must possess (and produce) a driver’s license or other state-issued photo identification. Each person must carry such identification at all times while engaged in business. Photo ID issued by a private company or organization will not be accepted as a substitute.
5. A permit or certified copy of the original permit is not transferable.
1. Solicitors may not enter upon on any premises marked with “No Solicitors” or other such similar
signage or indication that solicitors are uninvited.
2. It is unlawful to fail to display an original or certified copy of the permit upon demand of a police officer or at the request of a citizen.
3. No soliciting may take place before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
4. No soliciting may take place at any time on Sunday.
As you can see, there are steps that solicitors need to take. It’s been my experience, that no solicitor has ever been able to produce the permit. They also don’t know that there are specific hours that they can legally solicit. As you can see, it’s also prohibited to solicit when a premisses is clearly marked no-soliciting.
Most of the solicitors are college-aged kids trying to make a few bucks. They don’t know the rules, and are apologetic when you inform them. The real offenders are the companies that send the kids out.
Non-profit organizations are not required to carry a permit, but still need to abide by the other prohibited acts.
There have been reports of “sketchy characters” trying to use door-to-door sales possibly as a cover for seeing if anyone is home. It’s pretty obvious when these people come around. Holly Springs Police Chief John Herring says “When in doubt, call 911. That’s what we’re here for.” Never try to pursue these people on your own. Get a tag number and description of the vehicle if you can do it without putting yourself at risk.