Country Time Lemonade is now offering “Legal-Ade” to help kid entrepreneurs who are being harassed by killjoy bureaucrats. Whenever a city demands a permit or slaps a fine against a kid’s lemonade stand, parents can upload an image of the fine or permit to send to Country Time, along with the kid’s description of what the lemonade stand means to them. If Country Time approves it, they will cover the full cost, up to $300. In a press release, Country Time said it will reimburse up to $60,000 in fines and fees this summer. That could help hundreds of kid entrepreneurs.
Police in California, Georgia, Iowa, and Texas have all ordered kids to stop running their businesses because they lack the proper permits. In East Hampton, New York, the government even shut down a lemonade stand manned by Jerry Seinfeld’s son, after a neighbor complained to the police.
And just last month, Denver shut down a lemonade stand operated by three brothers, ages 2 to 6. Over Memorial Day weekend, the boys set their stand up near the Denver Art Festival and wanted to raise money for Compassion International. But they were only in business for half an hour before the cops showed up.
“My boys were crushed. They were devastated,” the boys’ mother, Jennifer Knowles, told Denver 7. “I can’t believe that happened. I remember as a child I always had lemonade stands and never had to worry about being shut down by the police officers. I mean that’s unheard of.”
According to the Denver Police Department, their actions were “complaint driven:” Several permitted vendors at the event had complained to the police that there was an unlicensed lemonade stand and wanted it gone. One of the grown-up vendors was selling lemonade for $7 a glass. The boys offered 2 cups for $1. Denver officials later said that there was no city ordinance that actually banned or authorized kids’ lemonade stands.
“The police officers, they couldn’t have been nicer, but someone complained about us,” Knowles said. “It makes me sad that someone would do that.”
Fortunately, not all states have soured on economic liberty. Last year, Utah enacted a law that legalized kid lemonade stands throughout the state. Under the reform, cities and counties cannot require a license or permit for businesses that operated primarily and occasionally by people younger than 18.
Country Time said it best: “When life gives you arcane laws, make lemonade.”