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Let Colorado Work

Occupational Licensing Toolkit

Occupational licenses are “permission slips” the government requires individuals to obtain in order to work in certain professions. Today, almost 1 in 5 Coloradans must be licensed, compared to less than 1 in 20 in the 1950s. This creates considerable challenges, especially for working-class Coloradans trying to start a new career doing what they love. Occupational Licensing Reform can help reduce these barriers and create an economy that works for everyone.

Colorado requires government licenses for over 150 different professions, including 34 working-class professions such as barbers, hairstylists, and nail technicians which require an average of $344 dollars in fees and 260 days of education. Unfortunately, these requirements inordinately impact working-class Coloradans – hoping to fulfill their lifelong potential through honest work. These barriers also hurt consumers by driving up costs and decreasing choice by restricting competition in the marketplace while doing little to ensure their stated goal of public health and safety.

With this Toolkit, you can tell your lawmakers that by enacting smart regulatory reform, we can help reduce the burden of government occupational licensing laws, revitalize our economy, and #LetColoradoWork!

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Hurts Working-Class Coloradans

The fees, time, and maze of requirements that go into getting some blue-collar jobs creates arbitrary obstacles, especially for working-class Coloradans.

Hurts Our Economy

According to a November 2018 study by the Institute for Justice, these barriers cost our state more than 57,000 jobs and over $5.6 billion in economic growth.

Hurts Consumers

Excessive licensing requirements box out new competition, leading to higher prices, fewer choices and less value for consumers.

Learn More

Check out these short videos to learn more about Occupational Licensing.

What is Occupational Licensing? 

How Occupational Licensing Perpetuates a Cycle of Poverty 

How Occupational Licensing Impacts Workers, Businesses, and Consumers 

In The News

“Licensing in the United States over the years has at times prevented minorities and the economically disadvantaged from having the ability to access occupations. When the supply of professionals is restricted, the cost of services increases and the poorest among us lose the ability to access those services.” – Governor Jared Polis

 10 states have enacted major occupational licensing reforms since 2019 

Polis signs bipartisan occupational licensing portability bill 

Colorado Occupational Licensing and Credential Portability 

Colorado should revamp its harmful occupational licensing laws 

Take Action

Email your elected officials to tell them that by enacting smart regulatory reform, we can help reduce the burden of occupational licensing laws and #LetColoradoWork!

Email my Legislators

Spread the Word 

Download our graphics and use our sample social media copy to spread the word to your friends and family.  

Colorado OL Toolkit Graphic 1

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Colorado OL Toolkit Graphic 6

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Did you know that almost 1 in 5 Colorado jobs today require a license compared to just 1 in 20 back in the 1950’s? Our elected officials should enact smart regulatory reform to help lift these barriers and #LetColoradoWork!

Excessive Government Occupational Licensing makes it harder to start a new career doing what you love. Tell our legislators that smart regulatory reform can help reduce these barriers to #LetColoradoWork.

Did you know that Government Occupational Licensing makes it harder to become a barber? Our legislators should help reduce these barriers and #LetColoradoWork.

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Did you know that almost 1 in 5 Colorado jobs today require a license compared to just 1 in 20 back in the 1950’s? Our elected officials should enact smart regulatory reform to help lift these barriers and #LetColoradoWork!

Excessive Government Occupational Licensing makes it harder to start a new career doing what you love. Tell our legislators that smart regulatory reform can help reduce these barriers to #LetColoradoWork.

Did you know that Government Occupational Licensing makes it harder to become a barber? Our legislators should help reduce these barriers and #LetColoradoWork.