Sure, You Can Get a Business License — If Your Competitors Approve

Our friends at the Pacific Legal Foundation have filed another important suit in the battle for the right to earn an honest living.  PLF senior attorney (and Cato adjunct scholar) Tim Sandefur has the scoop:

Michael Munie is a St. Louis businessman who’s been in the moving business since he was 16 years old. He has a federal license that lets him move people’s household goods from one state to another. And he has a state license that allows him to move things within St. Louis. But he’s not allowed to move things from St. Louis to anywhere else in Missouri unless he gets permission from his competitors first.

That’s right—Missouri law dictates that whenever a person applies for a license to run a moving business, the state’s Department of Transportation must notify all the existing moving companies and give them the chance to object. If they do—which, of course, they always do—the applicant must prove that there’s a “public necessity” for a new moving company. What does “public necessity” mean? Nobody knows. There are no standards, no rules of evidence, no nothing.

Read the rest and find out more here.  Cato doesn’t litigate, of course – other than filing amicus briefs – but we certainly support those that do, including PLF, the Institute for Justice, the Goldwater Institute, the Mackinac Center, and many others.