Painters,University Painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

To License or Not to License

Just like doctors, lawyers, nurses and a wide assortment of other professions, painters may need to hold a license in order to operate. Overall, occupational licensing is a controversial subject. The more formal title for the process is ‘occupational licensure’. Each state is able to set up their own parameters for what occupations they would like to have licensed so the person who is employed in that field can receive compensation for their services. According to one group of researchers, the number of occupations that require licensure has skyrocketed over the last six decades. Where as once only one in twenty occupations required licensing today it is nearly one in four!

So, if you are interested in starting a painting business your first step should be to investigate the requirements of your state. And if you are looking for a reputable painting company you should also find out what the state requires. Licensing gives the consumer greater confidence in the supplier of a product or service.

But, there is no question that every state has different expectations. Some have highly stringent licensure requirements such as Arizona, whom many say has the toughest expectations in the land, and others do not require a license at all in order to operate a painting contract business. For example, Michigan just dropped the need to have a license in order to alter a structure. At the time the requirement was dropped there were 432 licensed contractors who devoted their services solely to painting – at $150 per license to be renewed every three years.

In other instances, a state such as Arizona is now opening their doors to let those with a license in other states automatically qualify for similar licensure. States that have taken an aggressive stance on licensing find that the fees they collect do not offset the cost of oversight of the licensees nor does it make up for the impact it may have on overall economic growth.

So, no matter what side of the fence you’re on – painter or the person looking for a painter – start by ensuring you have all the facts. If you happen to live in a state that does not require a license, then find an alternative means of assessing the company’s competency.

If you are in the market for a residential contractor, contact the professionals at University Painters, Inc. We will treat your home like it’s our own.