Bill would snip onerous licensing fees, requirements at salons
State House — Rep. Jason Knight has introduced legislation aimed at reducing onerous licensing requirements and fees targeting one of Rhode Island’s most ubiquitous small businesses: hair salons.
“Salons are the some of the small businesses that can still thrive on Main Street in just about every town. They are valuable employers and taxpayers and provide necessary services. Our state would benefit from cutting down on the fees and red tape for them, because the state does better when small businesses can survive,” said Representative Knight.
The legislation (2020-H 7112) eliminates a $170 shop licensing fee that barber shops, hair salons and those who rent stations in them must pay annually. The bill would also eliminate some of pretexts by which an applicant can be denied a hairdressing license, to prevent discrimination and denials for illegitimate reasons.
“Hairdressers and salons are subject to an enormous regulatory burden. Everyone working in a salon already has to renew their hairdresser, barber, manicurist or esthetician license every year. Shop licenses are a totally separate, additional license with a $170 fee, and they have to be paid not only by the owner, but also by every person in the shop who is renting a station, and paid again if they change locations,” said Representative Knight (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren). “These requirements are onerous. Hair dressers shouldn’t need a special license just to use their hairdressing license inside a shop. Salons are mostly mom-and-pop businesses, and our state shouldn’t be making business so hard for them.”
Representative Knight said he was made aware of the salon owner licensing fee by a salon owner in his district.
Besides eliminating the shop license, the bill eliminates a section of the law that allows a hairdressing license to be denied unless the applicant “is of good moral character.”
“This restriction is outdated and represents antiquated views about who should and should not be allowed to participate in the economy. Today, every Rhode Islander deserves the chance to put their skills to work and the government should not be throwing up arbitrary burdens to their success,” said Representative Knight.
Representative Knight introduced the bill Jan. 15. It is cosponsored by Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol), Rep, Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett), Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) and Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence).