Tennessee recently introduced bills into its House and Senate that would remove licensing requirements for people in a variety of different occupations. 

This bill, different from many other occupational licensing reform measures in states across the country, would allow…

… a person to perform, without a license, work for which a license, registration, or certification is normally required when the person enters into a written agreement for work with a customer.

This is a great step for Tennessee. Instead of keeping people from working through unnecessary licensing requirements, the state is allowing customers to make their own choices. In the age of technology that we live in, if someone does not do a good job, people will not seek their services and leave reviews of their work. This sharing of information protects consumers and allows free-market forces to work on improving services for consumers instead of arbitrary governmental regulations. 

Throughout the U.S., states require licenses for many different occupations. Licensing requirements are often different from state to state, and some occupations may require licensing in one state, but not in another. For those who move across state lines it can be a nightmare to keep working in their trained vocation. 

This arbitrary licensing and regulation cannot all be in the public’s interest, despite being in place because of “health and safety concerns.” Some states have begun to recognize the problem and are working to reduce barriers to work for their residents. Many of these reform efforts are taking the form of universal licensing recognition – allowing Americans to move freely between states without having to undergo unnecessary training for an occupation which they were already licensed for in another state. 

Tennessee should be congratulated for taking this important step to remove impediments to the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of its residents. The state’s assemblymen should recognize the importance of this bill and others like it so that more Tennesseans can enjoy the freedom to work.