Licensing Laws Protect and Cost You

Updated: 01/01/2013 1:30 PM KSTP.com By: Hannah Anderson

Critics say licensing regulations hinder job growth and drive up prices for consumers.

The Institute for Justice, a non-profit legal organization that reigns in over reaching governments, recently compiled data examining occupational licensing requirements nationwide.

The Institute ranks Minnesota 24th in terms of having the most burdensome licensing laws.

In Minnesota, you need a license from the state to trim trees, give manicures, or shampoo hair, among other things.

Critics say the laws make little sense. For instance, barbers need almost two years of training to be licensed but EMTs initially need just a month.

Critics argue entrenched businesses often lobby for licensing laws to keep others from entering the profession. Economists say the reduced competition drives up prices and reduces opportunities for those who want to work.

However, licensing supporters say laws are in place for good reason.

They say occupational licenses protect the public.