N.H. fares well in licensing surveys

Two surveys released this week both give New Hampshire relatively high marks when it comes to its licensing requirements and costs.The Institute for Justice, which describes itself as the nation’s “only libertarian public interest law firm” surveyed all states’ laws regulating occupations and placed New Hampshire 43rd on a list of the most “extensively and onerously licensed states.” New Hampshire, however, was higher up (28th) on the list of the most burdensome licensing laws.According to the report, “License to Work,” New Hampshire requires a license to perform 34 of 102 “low- to moderate-income occupations,” according to the survey — such jobs as gaming supervisor, preschool teacher, auctioneer, bus driver, emergency medical technician and security guard.But New Hampshire does get a few black eyes for some professions. Midwives have to pay $920 in fees, about $300 more than average, and mobile home installers are required to have two years of training, as opposed to the national average of eight months. While this might be bad news for the installer, it could be good news for the person who ends up living in the home, but the Institute for Justice apparently views all regulation as bad.”Barriers like these make it harder for people to find jobs and build new businesses that create jobs, particularly minorities, those of lesser means and those with less education,” according to the report.Meanwhile, Thumbtack.com – which matches services to businesses – surveyed businesses themselves, not laws, and gave the state an A- for its licensing environment and an A for overall friendliness.But the comments released along with the Thumbtack.com study were mixed concerning licensing.One Nashua makeup artist wants the state to issue its 35th license. “I wish New Hampshire would separate makeup licensing from other cosmetology licenses,” she said. “I don’t want to learn hair or skin. It’s a waste of time and money to have to be licensed above what your profession is.”But a licensed massage therapist, also in Nashua, had no complaints after moving here from New York: “I found starting my business very simple,” she said. “I had no problem in completing the necessary requirements to obtain my massage license in NH.” — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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