Security Officer says it's illegal to advertise my business?

Hi all,

So… I was walking door to door, handing out fliers and business cards to storefronts…

It was a big parking lot with a supermarket, some hair salons, bakeries etc. one of the parking lots with lots of different stores.

The last store I went in the manager was acting a little strange. Turns out a security officer wearing all the secruity officer gear. (that really common black and red security company with “securitas” hat) that patrols the parking lot walked in behind me and said that what I am doing is illegal and that I can’t do it anymore and he asked me to leave.

I asked if anybody complained and he said “no, nobody complained, but I patrol the area and if I see something that isn’t allowed I have to stop it.” he said “you are soliciting, and that is actually against the law.” He also mentioned that he doesn’t personally care, but it’s his job and stuff to stop soliciting, panhandling, begging, loitering etc…

So… You all say door to door is the best method to pick up storefront. How do I do door to door if I can’t legally go door to door???

Please someone tell me there is an easy fix to this solution. After asking lots of questions to the security officer, he said that if I really want to go door to door I have to get permission from the property manager. and the property managers are in a different state. 2nd, I had no idea because I only saw one no soliciting sign out of the 20 places I went in. And I didn’t know it was managed by anyone because again I didn’t see any signs. Apparently I have to call them and ask for permission to solicit my business. Which I’m assuming if i call and ask they’ll just say no?

Is that really what all of you do? What am I supposed to do here? Has anyone experienced this issue?

Your best bet is to contact the city or county you are working in and get the scoop. I could understand if they thought you were a bucket bob trying to squeegee for beer money but it shouldn’t be a problem if you are a legitimate business.

Holy Crap… this is incredibly frustrating…

I talked with the City and here is what I need

  1. a Privileged business license (in addition to my regular business license)
    B. This business license costs $299 to apply for… (ouch)
    C. This business license takes 60-90 DAYS to become approved! ugh!
    D. I need a full background check (she mentioned initials but… point is i need background check, which that part is not a problem)

OUCH!! I don’t have 60-90 days to wait around!! (I need to re-think my business plan which heavily relies on storefront considering it’s winter…)

  1. Once I get that… Now I need permission from the property manager…

So after going through all that effort… the property manager can just say “no”…

wow how frustrating!

City Hall, business license department.

It’s not illegal if you have a permit. At least according to this:

The security guard you spoke with may have been mistaking his boss’ property rules with actual government laws.

Make sure that the city of Reno doesn’t have any specific law limiting solicitation. Also, commercial location laws may be different than residential location laws.

Which license category?

There is a regular business license, then there is the other one which is called a “Privileged business license” that costs $299… and takes 60-90 days to be approved…

Guess I need a darn job after all… crap.

and regarding the previous post you posted in this thread. That article is talking about residential I know for sure. For commercial…storefront solicitation in order to do it legally, you need the “privileged business license” AND approval from the property manager.

Am I the only one who has to jump through these hoops to advertise to storefront? or does everyone? Can someone please let me know what their regulations are? I’m okay with this issue… I’d just really like to know what your experience is with this type of situation.

Actually, I’m thinking this is probably a good thing, because it reduces the amount of bucket bobs in the marketplace… still sort of ruined my business plan temporarily…

Just a bump in the road. Why not just send those businesses fliers. If you are working on a store and security approaches you then just tell them you were called to clean the windows by the business.

Send the fliers attn: Manager or attn: Owner

I apologize but I’m slightly confused. I can definitely send the businesses fliers, but everywhere on this forum says go in and meet face to face is the only really effective way to get storefront business. But it is worth a try.

I can’t tell the security guy that I’m working on their store because I’m not working on their store… I’m soliciting my business… But I can try to send fliers to them.

The phrase “it is easier to beg for forgiveness than it is to to ask for permission” applies here.

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I was just looking at Reno’s code and… I’m very glad to live in Alabama. I go and pay $150 for the year and I’m done with it.

If it were me, though, I’d just canvass elsewhere - not all places are going to be the same in terms of security/enforcement. A shopping center down the road may produce better results and less headaches. Then maybe revisit the same place months later. Or get the street address and suite numbers of the shopping center you were at and mail your flier directly to them.

There’s always a way.

oops - seems some folks gave the same advice before I refreshed the screen. Sorry for the overlapping ideas.

Do you have a link to that code???

Some years ago the Supreme Court ruled that B2B (business to business) was not soliciting. Kind of a catch to that though in some areas as some misunderstand what is soliciting and what is advertising your business. As far as I know there is no law against dropping off information to businesses about your business services. Soliciting is defined as asking for money or donations. You are not. You are offering a service to be hired for. It might be worth $25-$50 to talk to an attorney to discover your actual rights under the law. I’m pretty sure the security guard had it wrong, and you may have spoke to someone in the “license” office that was mistaken as well. I don’t know how every state or community handles it but you do have a right to promote your business, and that was the ruling of the Supreme Court. Do a Google search and read up a little on it (in your area also) in addition to spending a few dollars with a business attorney.

Yeah, I’ll post them below. From what I was able to gather, a privilege licence would apply more toward businesses dealing in “Gaming, Liquor, Pawnbroker, Secondhand Merchandise, Escort Services and Interactive Cabaret.” But I’ll be honest - I started getting a (figurative) headache reading through it and didn’t really study it. I don’t get along so well with legal-speak.

City of Reno : Privileged Business License Application

You get a lot of “no’s” from businesses for window cleaning. Many just have staff do the Windex thing or nothing at all. If you want to do a monthly canvas of the choice businesses in your area you can simply collect mailing addresses and put together a professional looking offer even to include a price that you would do it for and mail it to them. If they want your services they will call. If not at least you put the offer on the table without being shown the door. Chase residential with door hangers. More money anyway.

I have Reno, Sparks and Washoe licenses. When I was first figuring out what I needed to do to get the licenses I researched the privileged licenses and found that along with gaming and liquor they require privileged licenses for house cleaners. I wanted to find out if they included residential window cleaners with house cleaners and found out they don’t (which I am sure you already know).
Anyway, from what I can tell the privileged licenses are required for people they want to run backgrounds on. I am sure they don’t want burglars becoming house cleaners etc. I wonder if whoever you spoke to really understood what you are doing?

I have not done enough research on solicitation permits here but think they are really geared toward residential (not sure though).

I admire your determination considering the weather we have had in the past few days. Feel free to PM me or give me a call if you wanna chat.

Go make up little cards and tape them to pieces of candy. Then walk around giving out the candy with your info on them! That’s not solicitation!!!

Walk in to every storefront and say, “Hi, I am John!” I am a new business in town and I wanted to stop by, introduce myself and swap business cards with you. May I have one of your cards?"…as you are offering your card out to the person. Do not quote a price or ask about window cleaning unless they ask you.

When the security guard comes up, you can introduce yourself and ask to swap cards with him.

You are introducing yourself, you are not soliciting, you get your card in their hands and their card with address and contact info into your database.