New Laws Mean Fewer Licensing Regulations and Lower Fees for Veterans and Women Entrepreneurs

Women’s Foundation encourages Missourians to take advantage of new opportunities to obtain a license

KANSAS CITY – The Women’s Foundation is encouraging Missourians to take advantage of new laws that make it easier and less expensive for veterans, women entrepreneurs and others to obtain a professional license in Missouri.

For example, military families and low-income Missourians are eligible to have their licensing fees waived for two years from the date their application is approved. In addition, Missourians interested in pursuing a career as a professional hair braider can now watch a four-hour video instead of taking more than 1,000 hours of cosmetology training.

“These common-sense reforms are helping to break down the barriers that make it harder for women to pursue a new career or start their own business,” said Wendy Doyle, Women’s Foundation President & CEO. “Ever since our research identified licensing barriers as a challenge facing women and their families, we’ve worked hard to make it easier and less expensive to obtain a license in Missouri. Now that these reforms are being implemented, we’re encouraging eligible Missourians to take advantage of these new opportunities to obtain a license and move up the economic ladder.”

In 2018, the Women’s Foundation worked with the Missouri General Assembly to pass HB 1500, which allows those seeking to pursue a career in hair braiding to complete an online video and obtain a certificate of registration. Previously, hair braiders had to complete over 1,000 hours of training for a cosmetology license, even though the training did not include hair braiding skills.

“I am pleased to see that the Hair Braiding Freedom Act is being implemented so that these mostly female entrepreneurs can start new small businesses,” said Missouri state Representative Shamed Dogan who sponsored the hair braiding reforms. “I look forward to seeing more hair braiding shops open across Missouri to provide our citizens with economic opportunity and creative hairstyles."

SB 843, passed in 2018, waived licensing fees for military families and low-income Missourians. Missourians can learn more about applying for a fee waiver at:

In addition, veterans taking professional state licensing or certification examinations required by the Department of Insurance, Finance and Professional Registration can be reimbursed for the cost of the exam. More information is available at:

Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy and policy solutions to make meaningful change. More information about the organization can be found at