Many of the vehicles that are on Florida roads were purchased through licensed motor vehicle dealers and dealerships. These individuals and organizations deal in hundreds of cars per year and make their business out of the buying and selling of cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles. However, some vehicles are bought and sold through private transactions. For example, a person may wish to sell their extra car to their neighbor who is in need of a reliable mode of transportation.
There is a major difference between the auto dealership discussed first and the private party discussed second in the above paragraph. While the dealership is in the business of completing transactions involving motor vehicles, the private party only has the single vehicle to sell and is not in the business of moving multiple vehicles per year. The number of vehicles that a party will sell in a 12-month period is important, as it will dictate the need for an automobile dealership license in order to legally do business.
Under Florida law, if an entity will sell at least 3 vehicles in a 12-month period then it must obtain an automobile dealership license to do business. This protects private citizens such as the one mentioned above from the regulations of automobile dealership licensing if they are only selling a car and not in the business of auto sales.
This post is not intended to serve as legal advice and readers should always consult with their attorneys when they have questions about buying or selling vehicles. Parties that wish to enter the automobile dealership arena are encouraged to work with trusted legal advisors to ensure that they are prepared for the logistical and regulatory requirements of running their new businesses.