Selling refreshing drinks at a lemonade stand has always been a fun way for kids to play business owner, gain entrepreneurial skills and earn some side money, but the seemingly innocent practice could have real legal consequences. Once money is exchanged for goods, the mini operation is considered a business and licenses will be required to comply with NYC business laws.
According to the New York Daily News, zoning laws in the area where your kid has set up shop could prohibit commercial behavior entirely. Anyone selling food at fixed location, even if just for a few hours, must apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment permit, which costs $70 for the year. Food vendors must also comply with health standards to ensure the safety of consumers and obtain a certificate from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Food Protection Course.
Most law enforcement officers might turn a blind eye to your kids’ lemonade stand, but some might not. Families can remove the risk by offering cups of lemonade for free and asking for donations instead. Kids will still learn how to peddle their goods and the value of hard work without breaking the law.