The government has the power to regulate an occupation if it believes the occupation affects public health, morals, safety, or welfare.  One way the government does this is by requiring licenses.  A license is legal permission from an authority to do a specified thing.

Who Needs an Occupational License?

Many occupations issue licenses.  They include:
  • Adult Entertainers
  • Architects
  • Bail Bond Business
  • Barbers
  • Contractors
  • Cremators and Funeral Directors
  • Engineers
  • Lawyers
  • Medical Professionals
  • Plumbers
  • Public Accountants
  • Real Estate Agents
Sometimes, a license is not required to do a job, but other times it is a necessity.  For example, you may choose to let an unlicensed barber cut your hair, but you may not have an unlicensed lawyer represent you in court.  Usually, you only need a license in the place you intend to work.

How Do I Get a License?

Usually, you have to apply for a license with the proper authority.  In addition to applying, the authority may have you show that you are fit to do the occupation.  To do this, the authority may have you take an exam, serve an apprenticeship, or take classes.  The authority may also review your records, including criminal history.  It is unlawful to deny a license solely because of a past criminal conviction that does not relate to the occupation.  Some authorities require that you pay a fee or post a bond to insure your performance as well.

Can my License Be Suspended or Revoked?

The authority that issues a license has the power to suspend or revoke it.  Usually, the authority or a statute will set forth the requirements for suspension or revocation.  Typically, misconduct, violating regulations, lack of integrity, committing a crime, and failure to meet educational requirements are reasons for suspension or revocation.

Should I Contact a Lawyer about Occupational Licenses?

A liability lawyer can help you determine if you need a license and advise you of your rights if your license has been suspended or revoked.  A lawyer may also be able to help you appeal the decision of the licensing authority to court.