Common Issues that Can Cause Your License Application to be Denied

December 30, 2022
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

For accountants, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals, your license is your ticket to pursuing your career. However, getting your license requires an arduous application process and there are no guarantees that your application will be approved. There are numerous common issues, both large and seemingly insignificant, that can result in your application being denied. If you are concerned about the application process or your application has already been rejected, an experienced professional license defense attorney can guide you through your options. 


Everyone knows that it is important to fill out your application correctly. However, many people don’t realize that a simple, unintentional mistake can result in your application being rejected. Most license applications include a sworn statement that the information you are providing is correct so that the licensing board may assume the mistake was intentional. And while you can appeal the rejection and get your application approved, that requires additional time and hassle. The bottom line is that you should complete your application very carefully and ensure that all information is complete and accurate before submitting it. 

Failure to Disclose

One of the most common reasons that license applications get rejected is because the applicant failed to disclose important information. While the rejection could be due to an unintentional failure to disclose, your application will almost certainly be rejected if you intentionally withheld information because you were fearful that disclosing the information could jeopardize your application. Ironically, failing to disclose is often far more problematic than the underlying issue. If you are uncertain as to whether something should be disclosed on your application, a professional licensed defense attorney can provide you with the guidance you need. 

Prior Criminal Convictions

Criminal convictions are not viewed favorably by licensing boards, especially when it involves felony charges or crimes that could arguably be connected to your profession. For example, a conviction for embezzlement may be highly problematic if you are seeking a CPA license. A criminal conviction can be problematic even if you have served your sentence and paid any fines. As unfair as this may seem, a professional license defense attorney may be able to help you overcome these obstacles. 

Unsatisfied Judgments and Other Obligations 

Generally speaking, licensing boards want to make sure that their practitioners are upstanding members of the community. As a result, they tend to scrutinize anything that would suggest that you do not meet your responsibilities such as outstanding money judgments or debts that are past due. Even unpaid parking tickets can be problematic. The best course of action is to satisfy any outstanding commitments before submitting your application, but be aware that may not fully solve the problem – you may need to provide some background to the licensing board if they believe that you have a pattern of not meeting your obligations. 

Substance Abuse

Past addiction and substance abuse issues could also jeopardize your application, especially if they resulted in a criminal conviction or DUI/DWI. You need to be prepared to demonstrate that you have undergone counseling or other treatment and that you are actively managing any addiction issues. 

Disciplinary Action or Revocation in Another State 

Do not attempt to get licensed in another state as a way to avoid the ramifications of disciplinary action or revocation in a different state. Licensing boards will typically check public records to ensure that you have a clean record, and failing to disclose prior disciplinary action will always result in a denial of your application. 

That said, disclosure does not necessarily solve the problem. The board may not look favorably upon the fact that you have previously faced disciplinary action or been subject to revocation or suspension. If you have a prior disciplinary record and are seeking a new license in another state, you should seek help from an experienced professional license defense lawyer. 

Contact Professional License Defense Lawyer J.W. Stafford and HIs Team if Your Application Has Been Denied

Do not lose hope if your license application has been denied – you have options. Professional license defense lawyer J.W. Stafford and his team can help you launch the career that you have dreamed of. Whether your application has already been denied or you are worried that it might be, contact us to schedule a consultation by calling 410-514-6099. Let’s discuss your case and help you move forward.