Many types of professions and businesses require a license to practice, permit to operate, or some other type of registration. Some were covered by state-level government, some at the local level, and some in both places.
- Restaurants, bars, and clubs may need to have a liquor or food license.
- Pharmacists were licensed and some had special licenses during Prohibition, so they could sell "medicinal alcohol."
- Physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, masseurs, and other health care providers had to pass exams and be licensed
- Barbers/cosmetologists, detectives, certain types of merchants and warehouses, etc. all were overseen by the government.
Examples for state-level registrations/licenses:
- Department of Commerce. Minute books, 1926-1968.
The minutes record actions taken on requests for brokers’ licenses, issuance of stocks and securities by companies doing business in Minnesota, applications for bank and insurance company charters, and related matters.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Commerce Department).
- Minnesota State Board of Cosmetology, Minute books, 1927-1970.
The minutes list persons passing the license examination, beauty shops granted licenses, correspondence received, and expenses and other financial data, and discuss routine business. The minutes also include transcripts of licensure hearings, inspectors’ itineraries, and license examinations with answers. Much of the correspondence and financial reports are stapled into the volumes.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Cosmetology Board).
- Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Minnesota. Commission Merchants Licenses and bonds Records, 1899-1915.
Information recorded: name of firm or corporation; address; kind of commission business (grain or agricultural); approximate amount of monthly business; amount of bond; name of surety company; license number(s) and issuance date(s); and remarks. The volume for 1903-1915 adds average amount due consigners; date the bond was executed, approved by the commission, and filed with the Secretary of State; and date of withdrawal of securities.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Railroad and Warehouse Commission)
- Governor. Detective License Records, 1914-1944.
Correspondence (1937-1938) and testimony (1941) regarding the issuance of licenses to private detectives and detective agencies; a record of licenses issued (1923-1944); and a file on the revocation of the license of the Northwestern Detective Agency, Duluth (1914).
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Governor)
- Board of Barber Examiners. Examination and License Registers, 1897-1976.
License, license application, and examination registers for barbers and apprentice barbers.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Barber Examiners Board)
Examples for County and Local Levels:
- Itasca County Court. Registration and Certificate Records
Registers of optometrists, massage licenses, physicians, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors, veterinarians, and basic science certificates.
MNHS call number: See finding aid in the library (Itasca County: District Court).
- South Saint Paul. Miscellaneous Records
Among other records is a license register, primarily covering restaurants and liquor licenses, with index, 1889-1933
MNHS call number: Location # 108.G.18.3B-2 (Box 1 of 2)