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State License Lookup

If you operate a business, you might need a state license. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. Learn about the state licenses you’re most likely to need, along with some unique licensing requirements for different states. Then, reach out to your state government agencies to obtain the license you need to do business there. Once you are licensed, you can operate in your state.

Accountant License

You have to obtain a state license to become a certified public accountant in your state of residence. While each state has different requirements, most include graduating from an accounting program. You will also need to meet the experience requirement and pass an exam before you can become a licensed accountant. After meeting the requirements, you can apply for your CPA license. Then, you’re free to earn money as a CPA in your state.

Business License

Some states issue general business licenses, while others only license specific businesses. Still, others handle licensing at the local level. Regardless of the state, you’ll likely need to register your business before you can get a license. Then, you can contact your government to find out which state licenses you need to move forward. Ensure you obtain each license and permit you need to comply with your state’s laws and guidelines.

Contractor License

Each state has its own requirements for contractor licenses, including with people that need them. Generally, these licenses are obtained by commercial and residential contractors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and mold remediation providers. Some states require applicants to pass an exam before obtaining a license. Others only require that contractors register with the appropriate state agency, while still others allow people to get certified instead of licensed. Because the guidelines vary, you need to contact your state licensing board to ensure you meet the requirements.

Cosmetology License

You will need to get a cosmetology license before operating as a cosmetologist. States typically require people to graduate from a cosmetology program before obtaining a license. You’ll also need to take an exam to get your license.

Dental License

All states require a dental license to practice dentistry. While the requirements can vary, you must start the process by graduating from dental school and passing an exam. You also might need to meet an experience requirement to become a licensed dentist. Then, you can apply with your state’s dental board and receive your license.

Educator License

Each state oversees its education system. That means that states create licensing requirements for teachers. Most states require that you graduate from a teacher’s preparation program, participate in student teaching, and pass the necessary exams before becoming a teacher. You also have to take steps to maintain your certification.

Insurance License

Selling, negotiating, and soliciting insurance is a popular career choice. You can embark on this career path after obtaining your state license. Some states require pre-licensing education, while others allow you to proceed directly to the test. You will likely need to pass a test for each line of authority you want to carry. Once you pass, you will receive your state license and can work as an insurance agent.

Medical License

You need to get a medical license before working as a doctor in your state. Requirements for state licenses differ, but they do share many of the same characteristics. No matter where you live, you’ll need to graduate from medical school and complete your post-graduate work experience requirement. You will also need to pass the necessary exams and complete your application with the medical board. The board will run a background check as well. If you submit all the documentation and pass the background check, you will receive your medical license.

Nursing License

You can work as a nurse in your state of residence after obtaining a nursing license. No matter where you live, you can become a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, or advanced practice registered nurse. All states require that you complete a nursing program before getting a license. You will also need to pass the NCLEX to become a licensed practical or registered nurse. If you want to become an advanced practice registered nurse, you’ll also need to earn an advanced degree and take a test to receive national certification.
Keep in mind that states can also have additional requirements. For example, if you want to work as a registered nurse in New York, you’ll have to take child abuse reporting and infection control classes first. Check with the board of nursing in your state to find the specific requirements.

Real Estate Agent License

You need to get a real estate agent license before you can work as a real estate agent. As with other state licenses, the requirements vary from state to state. Depending on where you live, you might have to take pre-licensing education courses. You will have to take an exam and likely provide your fingerprints. Then, you can submit your application and receive your license.

Unique State Licenses

You should also check with your state government to determine if you need any unusual permits or licenses. For instance, if you live in Arizona, you’ll need a permit before you can feed a pig garbage. If you live in North Dakota, be sure to get a special permit before shooting any pigeons.

Those two are far from the only unusual licenses states require. For instance, Louisiana requires a florist license for anyone who wants to sell flowers. Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., make people get a license before working as interior designers, while Louisiana, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have a licensing requirement for home entertainment installers.

Washington, Iowa, and Pennsylvania residents have to be licensed to work as travel agents, while Tennessee residents must meet strict licensing guidelines to shampoo hair. Other states require a license to braid hair, even if you are already a licensed cosmetologist.

The list for unique licenses goes on and on. If you are unsure if your state requires a license, it’s a good idea to reach out to a government official. Then, you will be sure to meet all licensing requirements and avoid fines.

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