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How to Verify a Professional's License in Milwaukee?

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is the agency responsible for licensing over 100 types of professionals, including cosmeticians, realtors, and contractors in Milwaukee. These licenses typically serve as proof of the professionals' qualifications. As such, the importance of ensuring that your preferred professionals are licensed before hiring them cannot be overemphasized, and you can do this through the DSPS's Online License Verification System.

Also, in certain situations, you may need to obtain a permit from the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) through its Permit and Development Center before commencing a project in the City. You can contact the DNS at (414) 286-8210 to get information on its permitting procedures.

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Do Milwaukee Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

There are 39 neighborhood associations in Milwaukee, each of which serves as representatives of the neighborhood's residents to the City's elected officials. They function to identify problems and challenges in the neighborhood, resolve conflicts, and promote the welfare and safety of the citizens. However, while you can meet neighbors, propose solutions, exchange ideas, and implement plans for the neighborhood at these associations, you cannot obtain any kind of permits from them.

In September 2020, the Five Points Neighborhood Association petitioned against the decision of the Common Council to expand the Historic King Drive Business District. That same month, the Garden Homes Neighborhood Association partnered with Good City Brewing to redevelop 30 houses on Milwaukee's North Side.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Milwaukee?

The Division of Consumer Environmental Health in Milwaukee is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of consumers as well as protecting their interests with regards to price, quality, health, and safety. As such, they attend to complaints concerning unfair or devious practices of any business within the city. You can send in any such complaints by calling the Division of Consumer Environmental Health at (414) 286-3674.

Alternatively, you can also file an unfair business complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) by calling its Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128, completing an online general consumer complaint form, or downloading a consumer complaint form, filling it, and sending it by mail to:

  • Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
  • 2811 Agriculture Drive
  • P.O. Box 8911
  • Madison, WI 53708-8911

Once the DATCP receives and reviews your report, it will attempt to contact the business about the complaint to prompt the business to proffer a solution to the issue. While it cannot compel a business to resolve the matter, if it is believed that the business in question has violated state consumer laws, the DATCP may either send it a formal warning or begin an investigation. If the findings of this investigation reveal that the violation is grievous and widespread, the DATCP may recommend the case to the Milwaukee County District Attorney (DA) or the state's Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution, which, in turn, may result in imprisonment, fines, or restitution to victims. Note that money awards or judgments from these matters can only be made through the court system. Also, the DATCP cannot give you advice on legal matters, nor can it serve as your private attorney. However, if your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may take further legal action against the business by filing a lawsuit at the Milwaukee County Civil Court.