Do Your Kids Need a Permit for Their Lemonade Stand?

Signs that summer has officially started for my kids?

None of them has any clue what day of the week it is. They eat like Hobbits (first breakfast, second breakfast, pre-lunch snack, lunch….). They wear swimsuits all of the time so they can hop in the pool whenever the mood strikes them (judging by the smell of chlorine in the house, the mood strikes them often).

And they are getting ready to open their annual summer lemonade stand.

I can tell all of their hours of watching entrepreneurs having their tushies handed to them on Shark Tank have really paid off. This year’s plans include a budget, multiple locations, and a capital structure.

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You know what their budget does not include? Getting a permit.

Am I over lawyering their lemonade stand? Google “kid lemonade stand” and  “permit” and you’ll find dozens of stories of cops shutting down lemonade stands for operating without a permit.

In Texas, state law allows cities to exempt low risk operations, like kids’ lemonade stands, from permitting requirements. Some cites, like Austin, have lifted the permit requirements on kids’ lemonade stands. But most have not (including the city I live in)

So what will I be doing with my own girls? I am going to give them a civics lesson and have them contact the city and ask if there are any regulations in place that would prevent them from running their lemonade stand.

So what if a permit is required and the cost of obtaining it far exceeds the $30 profit they hope to make?

Then I will instruct my girls to operate their lemonade stand in a way that does not annoy our neighbors (and provoke a call to the police) and trust that our fine police officers have more important work to do than cracking down on three kids making a few bucks off of a couple of pitchers of Country Time lemonade.

Speaking of Country Time, if your kids do find themselves in a pickle this summer over their lemonade stand, the fine folks at Country Time have set up a legal defense fund to help. Nope, I am not making this up. Dubbed “Legal-Ade,” it’s a group of lawyers who will help lemonade stands deal with permit issues. If a kid gets fined for running a lemonade stand, Legal-Ade will reimburse the cost of the fine or permit up to $300 ($60,000 total). Visit www.countrytimelegalade.com for more information

Who doesn’t love a feel-good lawyer story?

Are your kids opening up a lemonade stand this summer? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Disclaimer: This website is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.

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