Statutes sometimes impose a tax upon the transaction of certain business merely for the purpose of revenue, and not with any view of limiting or regulating the trade itself. If such statutes merely impose a penalty for failure to comply with their provisions, contracts made without paying the requisite tax or obtaining the requisite license are not thereby made unenforceable. It is to be observed, however, that a statute, though purely for revenue, may, in order to make more certain the collection of revenue, absolutely prohibit and make unlawful all contracts or sales made without compliance with the law.97 It is not always easy to determine whether a statute is purely for revenue and whether, if this is so, the statute prohibits and renders unlawful all contracts and sales made without satisfying its requirements. A number of cases arose under the United States Internal Revenue Laws passed during the Civil War, and it was generally held that these laws were merely for the purpose of revenue and did not render the contract itself unlawful.98 But there are contrary decisions.99 Instances may be found of other penal laws which have been held to be so exclusively for revenue as not to invalidate contracts made by persons who had not satisfied the statutory requirements.1
97 Smith v. Mawhood, 14 M. & W. 452; Hall v. Bishop, 3 Daly, 100; Stevenson v. Ewing, 87 Tenn. 46, 9 S. W. 230.
98 Lamed v, Andrews, 106 Mass. 435, 8 Am. Rep. 346; Corning v. Abbott, 54 N. H. 469; Ruckman v. Berg-hols, 37 N. J. L. 437; Woodward v. Stearns, 10 Abb. Pr. (N. S.) 395; Ranter v. First Nat. Bank, 92 Pa. St. 393; Aiken v. Blaisdell, 41 Vt. 655.
99Creekmore v. Chitwood, 7 Bush, 317; Harding v. Hagar, 60 Me. 340, 63 Me. 515; Hall v. Bishop, 3 Daly, 109; Best v. Bauder, 29 How. Pr. 489; Holt v. Green, 73 Pa. St. 198, 13 Am. Rep. 737.
1 Johnson v. Hudson, 11 East, 180 (tobacco dealer without license); Brown v. Duncan, 10 B. A. C. 93 (grain dealer who contrary to revenue regulations carried on a retail business within two miles of a distillery and did not have his name inserted in the excise book as one of the partners in the distillery); Smith v. Mawhood, 14 M. & W. 452 (tobacco dealer without a license); Harris v. Runnels, 12 How. (U. S.) 79,13 L. Ed. 901 (slave brought into Mississippi and sold there with out formalities required by law); Pang-born v. Westlake, 36 Iowa, 546 (real estate sold before plat recorded as required by law); Mandlebaum v. Grego-vich, 17 Nev. 87, 28 Pac. 121, 45 Am. Rep. 433 (traveling salesman sold goods without a license); Strong v. Darling, 9 Ohio, 201 (real estate sold before plat recorded); Fairly v. Wappoo Mills, 44 S. C. 227, 253, 22 S. E. 108, 118, 29 L. R. A. 215, 225 (sale by unlicensed broker). See also Alford o. Creagh, 7 Ala. App. 358, 62 So. 254. In Goldsmith v. Manufacturers' Liability Ins. Co., 132 Md. 283, 103 Atl. 627, the court approved the decision in Banks v. McCosker, 82 Md. 518, 34 Atl. 539, 51 Am. St. 478, where an unlicensed peddler recovered the price of goods sold, and Coates v. Locust, 102 Md. 291, 62 Atl. 625, 5 Ann. Cas. 895, where the court upheld the contract of an unlicensed real estate broker, and said (103 Atl. 628):