Bayonne assemblyman cosponsors bill to allow child-run lemonade stands without permit

The legislation, inspired by incidents in other states, passes Assembly Committee

Good news for young lemonade entrepreneurs in Hudson County. A bill that would make it legal for children to operate lemonade stands without a permit is moving forward.

The legislation was prompted by a series of reported incidents of local governments in other states closing down child-run lemonade stands for a lack of a permit.

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These incidents spurred many states to pass laws allowing children to run lemonade stands with a permit from the Department of Health.

Currently the only states that allow these child-run lemonade stands without a permit are New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois.

New Jersey is now on the path to follow suit.

Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson), an assemblyman from Bayonne, has cosponsored the legislation alongside fellow Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) and Robert Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) to ensure this does not happen in New Jersey.

The bill was advanced by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Jan. 27.

New Jersey is lemonade-friendly 

The legislation would prohibit a municipality from requiring a license or permit for anyone under the age of 18 attempting to operate a temporary business.

The stories of children’s lemonade stands being shut down in other states were brought to Chiaravalloti’s attention by his young son, Joshua, who asked if it could happen in New Jersey.

“Setting up a lemonade stand or mowing a few neighbors’ lawns to earn a little spending money is how many childhood summers are spent,” said Chiaravalloti. “Through these activities, children can learn how to save money and seize an opportunity to fuel their entrepreneurial spirit.”

According to Chiaravalloti, children who want to earn money through lemonade stands, sometimes to even donate to charity, shouldn’t be bogged down by regulations meant for long-term, adult-run businesses.

McKnight said the new legislation clarifies the law to exclude child-run lemonade stands from the regulation.

“I was surprised to hear about stories of children abruptly having their lemonade stands shut down for such a seemingly nonsensical reason,” McKnight said. “The point of a permit is not to prevent kids from selling some lemonade to their neighbors on a hot summer day, but to make sure substantive businesses follow proper rules and regulations.”

A similar law already prohibits municipalities from regulating the solicitation of snow shoveling services. The lemonade stand bill is a continuation of New Jersey policies that seek to allow young entrepreneurs to make some sweet cash without being soured by authorities for not obtaining a permit.

“No child should have their creativity and hard work discouraged by legal requirements that are intended for much more complex, adult-run businesses,” said Assemblyman Karabinchak.

According to Karabinchak, there’s no harm in letting children run a small, temporary business without a permit. The fees would take away from their limited earnings.

“In the end, they’re just kids who shouldn’t have to pay $100 to $200 in permit costs in order to sell lemonade for a few hours,” Chiaravalloti said.

The bill will now go to the Speaker of the Assembly for further consideration. If the bill becomes law, New Jersey will be the 14th state to allow child-run lemonade stands without a permit.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at


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