Peddlers Permits

Peddlers Permits

There are three different types of permits:

  • Peddlers, Solicitors, and Transient Merchants
  • Educational and Religious Organizations
  • Special Events

Peddlers, Solicitors & Transient Merchants


  • Peddler: Any person carrying or transporting goods or merchandise who sells or offers for sale for immediate delivery such goods or merchandise from house to house or upon the public street. 
  • Solicitor: Any person who solicits or attempts to solicit from house to house or upon public streets, orders for commercial goods, wares, subscriptions, publications, periodicals, merchandise or services to be delivered or fulfilled at a future date. (A person soliciting funds for patriotic, philanthropic, charitable, political or religious purposes does not require a permit whether or not there is an incidental purpose involving the sale or some goods or services.)
  • Transient Merchant: A merchant who brings or causes to be brought within the City any goods, wares or merchandise or any kind, nature or description, with the intention of temporarily or intermittently selling or offering to sell at retail such goods, wares or merchandise. A merchant engaging in business shall be presumed to be temporarily or intermittently in business unless it is their intention to remain continuously in business within the City for a period of more than sixty days. 

Permit Requirements

The peddlers permit covers peddlers, solicitors, and transient merchants. An application must be completed by the organization and each individual that will be selling will need to be listed along with their social security number. In addition to the application, each person selling will need to submit a completed Iowa criminal history record with sign off by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. The application and criminal history record(s) are forwarded to the chief of police for approval. It can take up to ten days to be approved according to city ordinance.

Once approved, each organization must produce a $10,000 cash or surety bond and prepay $25 per day for each day they are going to sell in town. After all requirements have been fulfilled, a badge is issued for each individual listed on the application.

Educational, Religious, or Charitable Organizations

An application needs to be completed and forwarded to the chief of police for approval. A bond and the daily fee are not required.

Special Events

A group of peddlers, sponsored by a group, that are going to sell under the same roof, or at the same location is considered a special event. The sponsor will need to fill out an application for approval by the chief of police. A bond and the daily fee are not required.

Permit Exemptions

Events held or sponsored by the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, such as the Farmers Market, events held or sponsored by the City of Grinnell, and events held on Grinnell College’s campus are generally not required to obtain a Peddlers Permit.

See Chapter 122 of the Grinnell City Code for a complete listing of permit requirements and exemptions.