Occupational Licensing and Women Entrepreneurs in Missouri

Policy Areas

Funded by the Women’s Foundation

About the Project

This research analyzes occupational licensing in Missouri and identifies remedies that could be implemented by the community, administration, or legislature to reduce the barriers to women entrepreneurs without sacrificing safety. The Institute of Public Policy has produced this comprehensive policy report which provides: 1) a look at women in the workforce and women entrepreneurs in the US and Missouri; 2) an overview of occupational licensing in Missouri, including an in-depth analysis of several licensing boards and commissions; 3) a comparison of Missouri’s licensing requirements and regulations to five neighboring states; 4) a discussion of the impact of occupational licensing on entrepreneurs and the economy in Missouri and the US; and 5) potential policy considerations for Missouri, including a policy brief on sunrise provisions which require a cost-benefit analysis and a policy brief on sunset provisions which require a review a periodic review to determine if the legislation is still necessary.


About one-third of all businesses in Missouri and the United States are owned by women. Research indicates that women-owned businesses provide valuable services to consumers, create opportunities for women, expand markets, and add economic and social value to the community. Occupational licensing requirements, imposed by state licensing boards, can present a barrier to entry into some entrepreneurial endeavors for both men and women. Occupational licensing and professional registration requirements are designed to protect the public’s safety and well-being by mandating training and experience for certain professional practices.  The recommendations in this brief could reduce the occupational licensing barriers to women entrepreneurs in Missouri.

Published On
August 2018

Emily Johnson