State and Local

Held Back by Red Tape: Occupational Licensing in North Carolina


Imagine a practice that restricts freedom, stifles competition, crushes dreams of success, and takes money out of consumers’ pockets — often for little or no good reason. Would you call it bureaucratic red tape? Restraint of trade? Highway robbery?  In North Carolina and other states it’s called occupational licensing — the practice of requiring a permit, registration, certification or a license to pursue one’s chosen field. North Carolina agencies and boards impose occupational and regulatory licenses or other requirements on more than 700 professions, ranging from doctors and lawyers to barbers, kickboxing promoters, ginseng dealers and cemetery salespeople.  Read more at NCCivitas.org

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