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License Must Be Granted Before Going Out of Business Sale

February 16, 2009

Indiana’s 92 county clerks are bringing to light a little-known section of state code… that requires stores to get a license for going-out-of-business sales. From Indiana Public Radio in Muncie, Stephanie Wiechmann explains.

Out of Business 021609 :57 … SOQ.

((SCRIPT))

Grant County Clerk Mark Florence had never heard about the statute until Home Depot applied for such a license last summer when they shut down the Marion store.

Indiana Code 25-18 says that any retailer having a going-out-of-business type sale has to apply for a license to hold the sale – much like you would get a permit if you were holding a big gathering or event. Businesses need to apply for the license at least 10 days before the sale…and, says the statute, before advertising the sale. Retailers also have to give the county clerk a line-by-line inventory of merchandise they plan to sell. In the case of Home Depot, that meant Grant County’s Florence received a huge document itemizing over six million dollars of stuff.

The statute isn’t new. Indiana Code says it has been on the books in some form since at least 1965. State county clerks say they now know about the code… but have too much work to actively police businesses in their counties.

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