Are you thinking of letting your kids run a lemonade stand this summer? Maybe you're even considering letting your enterprising youngster sell a few homemade cookies to go with the lemonade. If so, think again. Here's a list of potential problems you could face.
1.) You may need a peddler's license.
It's not uncommon for local ordinances to require a peddler's license to operate a lemonade or cookie stand. Laws aimed at peddlers are designed to prevent random street vendors (who often operate on the fringe of the law and pay little in the way of taxes) from cutting into the profits of local businesses with stationary store-fronts.
The fact that a child's lemonade and cookie stand is probably not going to be able to recoup the cost of the business license makes it an unprofitable venture, at best.
2.) You may also need a food permit.
Every state has its own laws regarding food permits. Generally speaking, however, you need a food permit to serve any kind of food, even cookies. Churches and other non-profit organizations (like the local school PTA) are usually exempt from these rules.
While most kids don't even make enough on the average lemonade stand to pay back their parents for the supplies, unless your child is operating a legitimate non-profit agency, he or she could be shut down by the police without that permit.
3.) You also want to get liability insurance.
Even if you live in an area that hasn't cracked down on the nefarious lemonade stand underworld, you might not want to risk letting your youngster set up shop on the front lawn because of liability reasons.
It doesn't matter what you're selling - there could be an issue down the line, and your homeowner's insurance policy probably won't cover a problem that arises from an in-home business. You'll need a commercial business liability policy instead.
Don't fool yourself into believing that nothing "that bad" could happen, either. If your child accidentally sells a sugary lemonade to a neighbor kid that's diabetic and the kid ends up in the hospital, you could be sued. The same thing could happen if your child sells a cookie to a kid down the street who happens to be allergic to some of the ingredients.
The lemonade stands and neighborhood bake sales of your youth may be a pleasant memory, and it sounds like a great way to keep the kids occupied during some dull summer days. However, modern legal complications may have ended the practice for good.
If you or your child have another business idea, however, that you'd like to try to make profitable, talk to an attorney today about how to get yourself set up legally. For more information, contact Marberry Law Firm, P.C. or a similar organization.Share