A credential is defined as a report, diploma, or status that evidences some level of competence. Credentials can take many forms, including academic degrees, certifications, years of experience, credit histories, or licenses. The credentials required to begin a new venture can vary (by industry, lender, location, or municipality) and often are undefined or difficult to identify. They can affect both whether or not an individual can begin a new venture and how that venture operates.

Credentials can affect one's ability to start a new venture in several ways. First, local, state, and federal governments have laws, statutes, and ordinances that may require individuals or ventures to possess certain credentials in order to operate. One good example of government credentialing comes from the local level. Many municipalities ...

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