Photo by adelle roux

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If you’re planning to start a business in a number of wildly diverse industries, including tattooing, tree trimming and cat grooming, be prepared to need a license, if industry groups have their way reports the WSJ:

They’re asking to become state-licensed professionals, which would mean anyone wanting to be, say, a music therapist or a locksmith, would have to pay fees, apply for a license and in some cases, take classes and pass exams. The hope is that regulation will boost the prestige of their professions, provide oversight and protect consumers from shoddy work.

But economists—and workers shut out of fields by educational requirements or difficult exams—say licensing mostly serves as a form of protectionism, allowing veterans of the trade to box out competitors who might undercut them on price or offer new services.

Photo by adelle roux.

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on February 7, 2011 in Ideas.

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