I worked for a locksmith company for several years and learned quite a bit. I made a tough decision to leave last year and went into a different field. I loved the work and I’ve been considering starting up my own business recently. ALOA requires an industry contact/reference etc as a prerequisite but the guy I used to work for didn’t really want his guys getting independent memberships. He always wanted to own your membership to try to discourage people from leaving and I’ve not known him to offer being a reference. He has an established customer base and foothold in the market and I’d be looking to work in a different demographic anyway. I’m trying to determine if there are any other memeberships like ALOA or ways around their requirement to have an industry reference. My old boss fought hard to keep me from leaving and I don’t really want him to know I’m trying to get back in. In my state I could do business without a memebership or license but it would be helpful to gain access to resources and tools and the rest of the community. I’ve managed to scrounge up some basic equipment on ebay and at auctions but I know I don’t have what I’d need to be really successful.