Bertolino federal trade commission 1

According to a CBS News report, in the 1950s, only about five percent of workers needed a license. But today, 25 to 30 percent of workers now need a license to practice their trade. While occupation licensing requirements are traditionally the responsibility of individual U.S. states, Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Maureen K. Ohlhausen, has said that the FTC should do more to limit this proliferation of licensing.

Originally, licensing was about addressing health and safety concerns. Which is why professionals like physicians, nurses and dentists have licensing requirements. And health and safety issues are also relevant for occupations like electrical work and truck or bus driving.

But now there are licensing requirements for fields like auctioneering, interior design, hair braiding, and even potato shipping. And some of these requirements are onerous. For example, CBS News reports that Nebraska cosmetologists are required to complete 2,100 hours of training—262.5 eight-hour workdays.

Further complicating the issue, many states don’t honor other states’ licenses or training requirements. Individuals licensed in one state may have to start from scratch when they move. This, the FTC notes, stifles business growth, and it makes things more difficult for moving families to maintain their standard of living.

While the FTC may take truly egregious licensing cases to court, the agency hopes it can work with governors and state legislatures to curb most licensing problems. Some progress has been made: Many states have new rules for military spouses who have occupational licenses but must move because of a spouse’s new deployment.

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If you’re facing a license challenge–from a move to a new location to an issue with an existing state license–consider talking to an attorney about your options. To get started, download our free e-book from the form below to learn more about the process you face and the steps you can take to protect your livelihood. To talk about your specific situation, schedule a consultation today.

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