Licensing Requirements: The Level Grinding of the Small Business World


David Henderson points out an interesting finding from a new Kauffman Foundation survey of 6,000 small businesses nationwide:

Small businesses said licensing requirements were nearly twice as important as tax rates in determining their state or city government's overall business-friendliness.

If you've ever played a role-playing game like Everquest, you know that the games frequently require players to pursue a whole bunch of meaningless fetching of powerless tokens and killing of minor enemies before gaining enough power and in-game credentials to participate in the really interesting parts of the game. RPG players have a term for this: level-grinding. Players obviously have to put up with these requirements because that's how the games are structured, but it really amounts to a lot of forced time-wasting before you get to the good parts. There's a narrow segment of the gaming world that enjoys grinding, but mostly players endure it with a lot of eye-rolling. More and more, game developers have looked for ways to minimize the worst and most obvious grinding requirements because they've come to understand that it annoys most players. 

Small business licensing requirements are sort of like level-grinding in role playing games: They force entrepreneurs to do a bunch of meaningless stuff before they can be productive. But it turns out what small business owners really want is to work.

Plenty more from Reason on licensing requirements here