Good news for young lemonade entrepreneurs in Hudson County: it is now legal for children to operate lemonade stands without a permit in New Jersey.
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, a new law now ensures this will not happen in the Garden State.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legislation into law on Nov. 8, which was sponsored by Assemblymembers Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Angela McKnight, and Robert Karabinchak. Chiaravalloti and McKnight both represent the 31st Legislative District which includes Bayonne and parts of Jersey City.
The new law will prohibit a municipality from requiring a license or permit of anyone under the age of 18 attempting to operate a temporary business.
Allowing permit-less child-run lemonade stands
The stories of children’s lemonade stands being shut down in places such as Utah and New York City 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 shouldn’t be bogged down by regulations meant for long-term, adult-run businesses. McKnight said the new law excludes child-run lemonade stands and other 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,” said McKnight. “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. This new law will make that point absolutely clear.”
Encouraging young entreprenuers
A similar law already prohibits municipalities from regulating the solicitation of snow shoveling services. The new law 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 Karabinchak. “There’s no harm in letting children run a small, temporary business without a permit, especially when the fees would take away from their limited earnings.”
“Some children even donate their earnings to charity,” said Chiaravalloti. “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.”
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