|License Type:||Identification Card|
For most heroes, the starting rank is D-Rank, unless the sponsored hero is only intended for advertising purposes, which would place them in the E and F Ranks. If the hero has better than average strength and is able to pass the strength upgrade test, then he/she is promoted accordingly to their crimefighting records, power levels and possibly their company's business profits. By continuing to fight crime, perform rescues or promote their businesses, a hero can also advance higher in the ranks. Conversely, if the hero is able to afford more treatments, he/she can increase his/her powers, and therefore can increase their rankings through the previously mentioned methods.
After being accepted by the Hero's Association, each member is given a license, which states the hero's name, the company he/she represents, stats and ranking. It isn't known if the overall personality of the applicant is a factor of whether he/she gets a license, but it is apparent that many are not as altruistic as true heroes are supposed to be. These people are actually quite selfish and are only in the Association for financial gain and/or public recognition. Since all members must keep a good public image, so as to not bring bad press to their sponsors and the Hero Association, it is safe to assume that applicants with criminal records or shady pasts are not considered as 'hero material.'
There are some regulations concerning with having a Hero's License. One cannot commit any crimes which would bring bad press to the Association and the companies they represent. Even though the Hero's Association does have near-complete control over the media, only the highest-ranking heroes, (such as Ankaiser) are protected from detrimental publicity. The lower-ranking heroes do not have as much protection from bad press and may even have their licenses revoked if they commit a criminal act or do something that makes the Association look bad. For example, the hero G9 was hired by a drug lord to fight the other heroes. After being defeated by Ankaiser, it is very likely G9's license was revoked. Ruby Red from the Gem Unit of PRISMMAN is considered to be the first commercial hero to voluntarily offer to give up his license after he and his comrades had caused the fire at the Grand Carrera Hotel. It is also very likely that those who committed violence against the citizens during the Hero Booster Arc have also lost their licenses.Another regulation is that Ranks E to F are basically not supposed to be involved in crimefighting, since their power levels are considered too low. Rio comments to Yavais that he should wait until he's at least a C-Rank hero before taking on a gang of hoods. Apparently, this means that higher-ranking heroes have some leeway with the local authorities and civil laws. The Akiba Holy Girls for example, have authorization from the Chiyo Bridge Police Department to patrol the streets with them.
One particular trait concerns the company that sponsers a hero. A hero's ranking is directly-related to how strong he/she is and how much money is needed to maintain those powers. The stronger the hero, the more money is required to pay for those treatments. If the company is unable to make those payments, (such as Ankaiser's company going bankrupt), then the hero is expected to give up his license.
After giving up his license, a person can re-register as a hero if another company decides to hire him. However, the individual cannot return to the same rank as he was previously unless the new company can pay the same amount for the treatments. Ankaiser was able to re-register as a hero again, but at a D-Rank since Kaiser Gym is not as high-paying as ANK Securities was. As a result, he must now work back up to an A-Rank.
Some Heroes to note are Randolman and perhaps Fatman. Due to the fact that Randolman started his own company, and Fatman belongs to a family-owned business; they basically sponsor themselves. Heavenly Maiden has also been revealed to be self-sponsored, as well as Mr. Big Horn. Rio earns her license and is most likely directly sponsored by her father, (who's the president of the Association after all), though she is also the sponsored hero of the newly-formed Andou Electronics.
Having a Hero's license also has certain limitations. For example, when Ankaiser accepted a Hero's License, his professional boxing license was permanently revoked. Even if he were to leave the Association, he cannot re-apply to box professionally, (most likely due to the physical enhancements he underwent as a hero).
In the end, having a Hero's License entitles large benefits in some cases, but many responsibilities and restrictions in others. For the most part, it is a symbol that holds great importance in the public eye, though most are unaware that the true meaning of being a hero has become overwhelmed by commericalism. As for Ratman, Shuto had decided that having a license was not worth it, if he cannot act like a real hero.