May 18, 2016

Lemonade stand freedom coming to Louisiana

By Caleb R. Trotter Attorney

By now I’m sure you’ve heard a story about an overzealous 150713_CA_LEMONADEhealth inspector or police officer ticketing a harmless child for having the nerve to operate a lemonade stand without a license or permit. Not even Jerry Seinfeld’s kids are immune from strict enforcement. Fortunately, a refreshing ounce of common sense came out of Louisiana yesterday.

Apparently, some municipal officials in Louisiana have made a habit out of ticketing child-operated lemonade stands for failing to acquire an occupational license and pay a tax. Well, on May 17, 2016, the Louisiana Legislature said “no more,” and unanimously approved a bill to put a stop to this outlandish government behavior. The bill exempts minors from the occupational license requirement by clarifying the definition of “business” to exclude minors with annual sales of less than $500.

This is certainly good news and the Governor intends to sign the bill. Now let’s just hope some code or health inspector declines to take up the torch of teaching children at a young age that entrepreneurship comes with gobs of red tape no matter how harmless the activity.

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