In Illinois, HIs are licensed by the state, but GCs and most trades are not.
GC licensing requires only proof of G/L insurance and a small fee.
Kinda back-a**word, if you ask me.
Also, I believe that the reason that many people get screwed by contractors and tradesmen is because they, themselves, fail to do their own due diligence.
Government seems to want to protect the people from their own stupidity, then institutes licensing, which usually has very low standards.