Understanding Professional License Verification

By Mesh on June, 10 2024
Understanding Professional License Verification

A professional license is an official authorization issued by a governing body, like a state or city licensing board, that allows individuals to practice a specific profession legally. This license verifies that the holder has met the required education, training, and competency standards in their field.  The verification is the confirmation that this authorization is current and active.  The most effective way to showcase professional licenses is with a professional license verification (PLV) program.

What is Professional License Verification (PLV), and how does it differ from other forms of verification?

Professional license verification is the process of making sure that a business is in good standing with the authoritative body.  At the highest level, it is a confirmation to ensure that the licensee name is correct, that the license number itself is right, and that the license status is active.  


The goal here isn’t just confirming that a license exists, but that licensee is correct business or individual, that they’re licensed to do the work, and that they don’t have issues or suspension or anything like that associated with the business. As an example, take a look at the California license board. You get nine pieces of information when you search a license number: 

- Business Name

- Business Address

- Entity Type

- Issue Date

- Expiration Date

- Status Type

- Classification

- Bond Status

- Workers Comp Status


Professional licensing can apply to a range of businesses including: 

- Financial Services

- Ecommerce

- Marketplaces

- Real Estate

- Construction

- Professional Beauty

The high level challenge here is that PLV is complex. First of all, the list above is a short version of the kinds of licenses that exist. Let’s take a look at the state of California. There are more than 40 different governing bodies that issue professional licenses. Now, let’s zoom in on contractor licenses in California. There are an additional 40+ different license options. Even more, these can be defined by the state, the city, and the federal government. Knowing where to look, how to look, and what information you’re looking for is a lot. 


What this means is that even what appears to be a simple task, like checking someone’s professional license, isn’t actually that simple. More than that, it doesn’t scale at all unless you incorporate automation. If you’re manually verifying licenses every day, you’re quickly going to end up overwhelmed by the process. 


Why professional license verification is critical for certain industries

The overall goal of professional license verification is to ensure that the licensee is in good standing, that a person or business has the qualifications they claim to have, and that they’re held accountable for anything that might happen. 


Let’s look at service marketplaces for contractors as an example. There are a few ways that PLV helps make the experience better for customers looking to find contracts.


From a consumer perspective, people need to know if the business or person is licensed to do the work or if there are factors that might prevent them from being licensed or bonded, like a criminal record. This is especially important if it’s specialty work, like electrical or plumbing. PLV helps confirm that the contractor has met the requirements laid out by the licensing board. If we take this one step further and look at financing for contractors, businesses who provide financing to consumers need to know that the work is being done by a licensed professional who can be held accountable for any issues that might arise. 


Beyond that, verification is important because licenses can be forged. It’s one thing if someone claims they have the credentials required to do the job, but if they haven’t renewed their license for a decade or they made up the license number, the consumer would be liable if something happens. PLV helps ensure that consumers are protected from issues like this. An invalid or fake license may not be a big deal to you, but it can lead to huge fines, administrative action (like stop work orders), and even legal repercussions


How does professional license verification contribute to building trust and credibility between businesses and their clients?


It’s one thing to know that a license exists and is active. But licenses aren’t static things. They’re far more dynamic than people realize. They can expire or be revoked, but if you’re not checking regularly, it could be months before the issue is caught.


That’s why once you’ve established that businesses have all their professional licenses in place, you need to make sure everything stays that way with a system for constantly monitoring license status. 


The challenge is that if you’ve got a business that operates in different jurisdictions, monitoring all this information can become a full-time job on its own. That’s why it’s important to have a monitoring system in place to ensure that all the information you’ve verified is up to date. This means knowing which systems to check and how to check them. It means knowing what platforms can be checked online and which need to be checked in person. And, it means knowing which tools you can use to reduce the complexity of the task. 

Get help with professional license verification

On the surface, professional license verification seems like it should be easy. The reality is, however, that it’s a very complex process. You need to understand how to manage and work within a wide range of licensing bureaus, you need to find a way to not just verify once, but continuously monitor, and, you’re likely going to need to solve the issue around in-person verification systems, which are fine when local, but increasingly harder to manage the further you get away from home.


To better manage your professional license verification it helps to work with a team of professionals who know how to manage this at scale. At Mesh, we can help you verify professional licenses in minutes regardless of where the business is located. To find out more, contact us today and speak to a Mesh Verification Expert.


Ready to get started?

Speak to a Mesh expert