Establishing a legitimate business in the United States requires folks to jump through legal hoops, have proper documentation, and—depending on the nature of the work—receive appropriate licenses and certifications to work in the field they’ve chosen.
While it is possible to “fly under the radar,” getting caught by a legislative body or inspection agency could be disastrous to a company’s bottom line. Once the regulatory brass walks through those doors and finds things to jam you up on, it could be an extremely costly endeavor.
This is what appears several men are trying to avoid outside of a barber shop in a viral TikTok posted by Diego Larios (@diegolariosv). The clip has garnered over 183,000 views as of Monday.
@diegolariosv Am I lying ? 😭 #fyp #viral #barber ♬ original sound
Larios writes in a text overlay of the video, “POV: Inspection is here and all of a sudden we’re not barbers we [customers] now.”
The video shows several men, all of them rocking what appear to be freshly trimmed hairstyles, sitting in chairs and browsing their phones. Judging from the text in the video, it seems like the employees are pretending to be customers to help the business from being fined for employing unlicensed barbers.
As of today, every person who cuts hair is legally required to have a license to do so, with Alabama becoming the last state in America to mandate this stipulation. Different states have different requirements to become a barber.
In Alabama, for instance, individuals must have logged in 1,000 school clock hours or 2,000 apprentice clock hours to become officially licensed. In New Jersey, 900 school hours are required before applicants are issued a test that they must pass to become an officially licensed barber. There are also renewal fees with various prices and renewal time-frames from state to state.
Some TikTokers saw the scene presented in the video and found the situation humorous, like one person who wrote, “Everyone with a fresh cut already just sitting waiting.”
Another couldn’t seem to comprehend why the barbers just wouldn’t invest the time to become officially licensed.
“Get legit how hard is it,” they wrote, which was a sentiment echoed by another who said, “It ain’t that hard to get licensed.”
Someone else commented that they would call an inspector on a barber shop that expects customers to pay more than $30 per cut when they don’t have a license.
“Sh*t I’m the one who called them ,any barber charging more then 30$ without license getting a visit,” they said. “Get ya license then maybe I’ll pay them landscap.”
So, what are the fines for being caught cutting hair without a professional license? In New York, the first violation will yield a $500 fine. In the second instance, the individual will be slapped with a $1,000 fine, and the third violation will yield a $2,500 cash fine.
In some cases, these legal transgressions can carry prison sentences of four to six months. If you’re good at what you do, however, you may be able to make some friends on the inside if you help to keep your fellow inmates looking crisp.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Larios via TikTok comment.