While selling crafts in a parking lot may seem innocuous to the crafts seller, several laws can be violated in the process. Each locale has different zoning codes, permit requirements and property laws. Check with authorities in your county and state for specific regulations.
Business owners construct parking lots for patrons’ convenience. The business owns the property and invested considerable expense paving and maintaining it. Many establishments post signs advertising that the parking lot exists for customers and no other cars should park there or risk towing. In short, the main purpose of the parking lot remains to access a business establishment that owns the parking lot. Other selling activities from car trunks, booths or tables on the parking lot can count as trespassing.
An “Open” Parking Lot
A parking lot remains open or vacant only as long as the property owner or customers stay away. If you do not own the parking lot, how do you know that the lot will remain unused by the business and its patrons while selling crafts? Selling crafts may interfere with the possible operation of another business by taking up parking on someone’s lot. At minimum, you have to get permission from the parking lot owner before selling anything on it.
Business Zoning Codes
The housing department in every locale controls whether a neighborhood will allow the operation of private businesses, and they determine what type of business may operate there. The existence of a parking lot means that the business owner has filed the appropriate form and paid fees. The property owner’s permit does not include others who want to sell wares on his lot. In addition, zoning codes permit some business activities and not others. You must determine if selling crafts on a parking lot is permitted in that zone.
Go to your state’s department or board of equalization to obtain a permit to sell crafts. Some states issue sales permits in order to collect sales tax from the sale proceeds. All sellers must have their permit with them when they sell crafts outside of home.
Patricia Hunt first found her voice as a fiction and nonfiction writer in 1974. An English teacher for over 27 years, Hunt's works have appeared in "The Alaska Quarterly Review," "The New Southern Literary Messenger" and "San Jose Studies." She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from American University and a doctorate in studies of America from the University of Maryland.