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The Difference between a License, Permit, and Registration

The Department of Consumer Protection issues numerous professional licenses and registrations as defined in State law, and all liquor permits

When consumers make a decision about who to hire, or where to do business, it's important that they know the difference between a license, permit, and registration. The Department of Consumer Protection issues numerous professional licenses and registrations as defined in State law, and all liquor permits. In general, the State usually requires a license for activity that is potentially hazardous, or  involves a specialized skill for which training is required.

Most occupational and professional licenses are granted by a professional body or licensing board composed of practitioners of the relevant occupation or profession. See “Boards and Commissions.” For many licenses, an individual must complete certain education and training, and pass an exam in order to be eligible. Some business types are also subject to inspection. 

Department of Consumer Protection registrations do not require proof of skill or education. In most cases, a “registration” requires the business or individual to provide name, address, telephone number, and some general information about the business. The purpose of a registration is to establish a written record of who is providing certain services in the State of Connecticut. It is important for consumers to know that a registration is not a guaranty of competency or expertise.

In general, the State usually requires a license for activity that is potentially hazardous, or  involves a specialized skill for which training is required.

Liquor permits, while not having educational and exam requirements, oblige applicants to provide financial information, evidence of local zoning approval, fire safety equipment and other detailed information.