(a) No person may act as an auctioneer on the sale at public auction of any goods, wares, merchandise or of any other property, real or personal, until he or she has entered into a written contract in duplicate with the owner or consignor of the property to be sold. No apprentice auctioneer may be authorized to enter into a contract without the written consent of his or her sponsoring auctioneer. All contracts shall be in the name of and on behalf of the sponsoring auctioneer.
(b) The written contract shall:
(1) State the terms and conditions upon which the auctioneer receives or accepts the property for sale at auction;
(2) Be between the auctioneer and the seller;
(3) Be made in duplicate;
(4) Be retained by the auctioneer for a period of three years from the date of final settlement;
(5) Be furnished to each person that entered into the contract;
(6) State that an apprentice auctioneer may not contract directly with a client but only through his or her sponsoring auctioneer;
(7) State that an apprentice auctioneer may not engage in a sale with an auctioneer by whom he or she is not sponsored without first obtaining the written consent of his or her sponsoring auctioneer;
(8) Have a prominent statement indicating that the auctioneer is licensed by the Department of Agriculture and is bonded in favor of the State of West Virginia; and
(9) Include the following information:
(A) The name, address and phone number of the owner of the property to be sold or the consignor;
(B) The date of the auction or a termination date of the contract;
(C) The terms and conditions of the auction;
(D) The location of the auction;
(E) The date the owner or consignor is to be paid;
(F) A statement establishing the responsibility for bad checks, debts and unpaid auction items;
(G) A detailed list of all fees to be charged by the auctioneer, including commissions, rentals, advertising and labor;
(H) A statement of the auctioneer"s policy regarding absentee bidding;
(I) A statement above the owner"s signature line: "I have read and accept the terms of the contract"; and
(J) A statement indicating that an explanation of settlement of the auction, or settlement sheet, will be provided to the owner or consignor at the end of the auction.
(c) As a condition of entering into a contract, the auctioneer shall be provided with proof or certificate of ownership for all titled property, or assurances of ownership for all other property. The auctioneer shall have such proof or certificate or ownership with him or her at the time the auction is held.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, an auctioneer may conduct an auction on behalf of an auction house or other business entity without having entered into a contract directly with the seller of the auctioned goods, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The auction house or business must have a written contract with both the seller of the goods and the auctioneer;
(2) The contract between the auction house or business entity must satisfy all the requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this section; and
(3) The auction house or business entity must file with the commissioner a bond satisfying the requirements of §19-2C-4 of this code.
(e) By entering into contracts with sellers of property pursuant to this section, the owners and partners of any auction house or business entity agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the commissioner and the Board of Review and are subject to the penalties set forth in §19-2C-8 of this code.