How Your Child’s Lemonade Stand Could Land You in Jail


Have your kids ever asked you if they could set up a lemonade stand in the neighborhood? If so, don’t be so quick to give permission — it could be conspiracy to commit a crime.

Across America, parents and children are learning that the hard way. From Louisiana to Colorado, families set up makeshift lemonade stands, hoping to teach children the virtues of capitalism, make a few bucks, or raise funds for charity. Then they find themselves in trouble with the law if they do not first obtain a government license to conduct their “food-vending business.”

These stories reflect the way our society has become overcriminalized through the overuse and abuse of the criminal law to fix every problem and punish every mistake.

They also reveal how crony capitalism and government bureaucracy are destroying free markets, innovation, and entrepreneurialism in our local neighborhoods.

In Denver, for example, the city’s laws and regulations require any food vendor operating a vending cart in or within 300-feet of a Denver park to obtain a temporary food-vending permit before selling any food or non-alcoholic beverage to the public.

Food vendors who do not obtain a permit or violate any other provision of Denver law governing the operation of food-vending carts face up to a $999 fine, 300 days in jail, or both, for each violation of the law.

These laws and regulations even apply to lemonade stands — which brings us to the story of Jennifer Knowles and her three young sons. – READ MORE


Lemonade stands used to be a staple of summer, especially for the entrepreneurial young’uns among us. However, the specter of busybodies shutting them down due to the fact that they don’t have the proper permits has become an increasingly common trope, along with the concomitant disappearance of said lemonade stands.

Lemonade maker Country Time is hitting back, and bringing a legal team to the fight. The beverage maker, a brand of the Kraft Heinz company, is taking a stand for our country’s lemonade stands this summer via an initiative it’s calling “Legal-Ade.”

“All around the country, kids are getting busted for running their lemonade stands,” a news release from the company reads.

“Crazy, right? Why would anyone stop kids who are trying to build strong work habits, have fun and become young entrepreneurs? The reality is, they are being shut down because of old, arcane and very real permit laws. Look it up – it REALLY happens.

“But this summer will be different. The Country Time brand is taking a stand by introducing Legal-Ade: a crack team ready to straighten out lemonade stand-related permits and fines. Legal-Ade will defend kids’ right to a lemonade stand and all the benefits they bestow,” the statement continued.

“Any child fined for running a lemonade stand without a permit can have his or her parent apply for reimbursement. To apply, simply upload the image of your child’s permit or fine along with a description of what your lemonade stand means to your child, in his or her own words. The submission will be reviewed by the Legal Ade team and if it complies with the terms, you will receive the exact amount to cover the permit or fine, up to $300.00.” – READ MORE

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