(a) No person may engage in the business of a dealer as defined in Section 2-15-131 without having a license therefor issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, which license shall expire on December 31 and shall be renewable as of January 1 of each year.
(b) An application for a license or annual renewal of a license as required under subsection (a) of this section shall be filed with the commissioner upon a form furnished for this purpose accompanied by a fee established by the Board of Agriculture and Industries payable before issuance of such license. Such application shall state the full name and address of the person applying for the license, the name of each member of the firm or all officers, if a corporation or association, together with the location of the applicant's business operation and the general territory or area in which the applicant intends to buy livestock, and it shall also contain any other information deemed necessary by the commissioner for the administration of this article. License fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Agricultural Fund.
(c) Upon receipt of the application, payment of the license fee, and the furnishing of a bond as provided in this article, a license shall be issued entitling the applicant to engage in the business of a dealer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a license shall be denied or revoked if the commissioner finds that the applicant: Has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this article; has failed to pay for livestock purchased; has given in payment for livestock purchased a check or draft which has been returned unpaid or dishonored without reasonable cause; is involved in any legal proceeding which may impair his or her ability to meet his or her financial obligations; has suffered a money judgment to be entered against him or her upon which execution has been returned unsatisfied; or has been guilty of fraud in applying for or obtaining a license or a renewal thereof as required by this article.
(d) Any person denied a license or any dealer whose license has been revoked by the commissioner may appeal the action to the board by filing a written request therefor with the board within 10 days after notice of denial or revocation of a license has been received. An appeal shall be heard by the board within 30 days following the date on which the appeal was filed. The filing of an appeal shall not suspend the revocation or denial of a license. The action of the board in refusing to grant or in revoking any license may be reviewed by the Circuit Court of Montgomery County upon a complaint being filed in the circuit court, accompanied by a bond to be approved by the clerk, within 15 days after notice to the applicant or licensee of the board's decision. The complaint shall be styled in the name of the applicant or licensee as plaintiff against the commissioner as defendant and shall set forth the action complained of and request its reversal. The commissioner shall serve an answer within 30 days after the complaint is served upon him or her. The action shall be heard de novo by the court, and it shall be determined from the evidence whether the denial or revocation of the license is or is not justified under the provisions of this article. The decision shall be accordingly entered, subject to the right of appeal which is available as in other civil actions, and the decision shall be binding upon the parties. All appeal rights provided in this subsection shall not suspend the action of the commissioner in the revocation or denial of a license.