Do I have to be licensed to fly a drone for commercial purposes? Answer: YES. When I started looking to start this business some two years ago, the regulations were different. There was no license available for commercial flying other than 333 Waivers and such. No real structure from the FAA. Until fall of 2016. Part 107 license changed everything.
I have discovered that there are many (Individuals & Businesses) that are flying without waivers or Part 107 commercial drone license! I have included a number of articles that describe just what can happen if you fly for commercial purposes without being licensed by the FAA. It's not pretty.
There are severe civil and criminal penalties for flying without a license for those that pilot and for those that hire un-licensed pilots.
I have found companies (Here in Grand Junction) that use un-licensed employees to conduct commercial flights. Not only are they un-licensed, but do not have NAS authorization! What is NAS? It stands for National Airspace System. Most, even Part 107 pilots don't understand that even if you have your ticket, you still cannot fly commercially without NAS authorization for a specific area.
At MountainSky Aerial Photography all those that fly for us are licensed Part 107 Licensed. Below are a few links that describe what can happen when not licensed.
Our you certified?
Gowdy Brothers Law firm