Transient Merchant

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Grand Forks City Code Chapter XXI, Article 12contains regulations which govern the conduct of Transient Merchants in the City of Grand Forks. 

Currently Licensed Transient Merchants

Southwestern Advantage-Steven Saarnak and Hannes Teidla

Definition of a Transient Merchant

A Transient Merchant is any person, individual, co-partnership or corporation, either a principal or agent, who engages in, does, or transacts any temporary or transient business in the City who does not intend to become or does not become a permanent merchant of the City. 

License Application, Fee Payment, and Bond Posting Required

Anyone wishing to do business in the City of Grand Forks as a transient merchant is required to obtain a license from both the City and the State of ND.  A City License Application can be obtained by clicking on the link below or by contacting the Finance Department located in City Hall, 255 N 4th St, by phone 701-746-2664, or by email.

A State Transient Merchant License can be obtained by contacting the Attorney General's Office

Failure to obtain a City Transient Merchant License is subject to a $500/per day penalty for each day that business is conducted without a license. 

At the time that the application form is submitted to the City, the applicant must also submit the license fee payment and the bond, as well as a copy of their State of ND transient merchant license.  


Application Form - Click Here

License fee 

  • Annual Fee is $450 
  • Per Day fee is $60

 Bond Required

  • A $5,000 Surety Bond or cash in lieu of bond must be posted at time of application
  • The bond must not be revocable for 2 years after the expiration of the license.

State of ND Transient Merchant License Required

  • A copy is required to be submitted with license application.

Where to submit applications:

The completed application for and other required information should be submitted to the Finance Department, located at 255 N 4th St.  By mail: Finance Department, PO Box 5200, Grand Forks, ND 58206-5200.

Business Regulations for Transient Merchants

All regulations for Transient Merchants Operating within the City of Grand Forks are listed in Grand Forks City Code 21-1208. A summary is listed below:

  • The City Transient Merchant License must be displayed at all times when transacting business.  The license must be provided when requested. 
  • Business may only be transacted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. C.S.T.
  • Certain practices are prohibited.  These include:
    • No more than 2 individuals shall engage in solicitation at a location at the same time.
    • No person shall make more than one solicitation call at the same premise for the same goods or services within any six month consecutive period, without prior invitation from the occupant.
    • No person shall commit any conduct constituting harassment, trespass, nuisance, theft, deceit, or menacing, troublesome or otherwise unlawful activities during the course of sales activity.
    • No licensee or agent shall enter or attempt to gain entrance to any residence or business displaying a sign prohibiting solicitation.
    • It is unlawful for a licensee to refuse to leave any premise when requested by the owner, tenant, or occupant.
    • It is unlawful to make any false or misleading statements about the product or services being sold, including untrue statements of endorsement.
    • No licensee shall claim to have the endorsement of the City based on the City having issued a permit, license or certificate to that person.

 Revocation or Suspension of License

Any Transient Merchant License issued by the City of Grand Forks may be suspended or revoked by the Mayor if any of the above regulations are violated, if the business, individual, or agent are arrested or convicted of a crime which would have prohibited them from qualifying for the license, or if there is any fraud, misrepresentation or incorrect statements made on the application form or during the course of business activity. 

If a license is revoked or suspended the applicant may appeal following the process outlined in Grand Forks City Code 21-1209(3). 

Anyone who is concerned about the activity of a Transient Merchant or their conduct is encouraged to contact the Grand Forks Police Department at (701)787-8000 to report the situation - or - 911 for immediate dispatch of an officer to assist.


Questions?  Contact us:

Finance and Administrative Services
255 N 4th St
Grand Forks, ND 58203



8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Email:  Click Here



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