It should not take seven years and a team of lawyers to open a small business.

Yet that is precisely the case for Erroll Tyler, an aspiring Boston-area entrepreneur who has been trying to open Nautical Tours, a cutting-edge amphibious vehicle tour service based in Cambridge.

Even though Erroll's vehicles won't pick up or drop off passengers in Boston, the city insists that he needs a special sightseeing license. Were he in business now, Erroll would face fines and a month in jail if his passengers were caught looking out the window. In a cruel twist, the city refuses to even consider granting him the special license.

The evidence is overwhelming that the real reason behind keeping Erroll off the streets and out of the water is to protect a seven-company cartel that controls all the existing sightseeing licenses. There are serious concerns about insider-dealing in the Boston sightseeing industry.

That is why on February 18, 2009, Erroll teamed up with the Institute for Justice—the nation's leading legal advocate for the rights of entrepreneurs—to file a major federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Boston to secure his rights to earn a living and to travel.

A victory for Erroll will establish important constitutional precedent protecting entrepreneurs across the country.