NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Curious why Uber has exploded in Manhattan? Why Chicago hasn’t yet caught up with the food truck craze and florists seem just a little more expensive in New Orleans? The reason is the spread of business licenses.

Properly used, professional registration lets the government keep tabs on professions that could harm consumers. Restaurants have their kitchens inspected, and doctors must pass board certification, because, in those industries, shoddy work could kill somebody.

While protecting the public from danger or fraud is one thing, simply making sure that everyone is doing a good job is another. Many business licenses today have less to do with protecting consumers than with fencing out competition. The more expensive it is to enter a business, the fewer people will try to do so. Unfortunately, the trend is growing.

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