Consulting can be an exciting career choice. It combines interesting projects with flexibility and socialization. However, depending upon the area in which area you consult, you may need specific credentials, licenses or permits.
Technically, you don't need a professional license to call yourself a consultant, the same way you would if you were a doctor or contractor. However, depending upon which state you live in, you may need to get a permit to issue different kinds of advice, operate a business or pay a fee to join a state registry.
Although usually not necessary to practice consulting, specialty certifications can be useful to your business. For instance, many different certificates are offered in IT professions, demonstrating dedication and knowledge gained through coursework. Certificates can build your skills while showing clients you are committed to quality work.
Finally, it is important to remember that although you may not need a consulting license, your business may still be required to have one to legally operate in the state. Check with your local city hall or courthouse to determine if your consulting agency needs a local license or permit.