Get ready for the most uniquely un-American story you’ve ever heard. Turns out kids all over the country are getting busted by police for operating lemonade stands without the proper permits. Fortunately, the kind folks over at Country Time Lemonade have implemented a plan to help cover the cost of legal fees for any kid who gets nailed running an unregistered lemonade business. Not the hero we deserve, but the one we need right now.
The program is cheekily titled “Legal Ade” and allows parents to apply for a reimbursement of up to $300 to cover permits and fees for setting up a neighborhood lemonade stand. A video released to announce the program depicts a little girl running a lemonade stand. Instead of working the counter alone, however, she’s surrounded by some very gooney looking attorneys cracking their knuckles and menacingly staring at the camera, clearly ready to destroy anyone who tries to stop her from collecting her 25 cents a cup. Test their resolve at your own risk.
“Around the country, kids are getting busted for running lemonade stands,” says the ad’s narrator. “Entrepreneurship, good work habits, good old-fashioned fun — shut down because of old, arcane, but very real laws.”
If it seems kind of unreal that some cop would bust a six-year-old for running an unlicensed business, as the Legal Ade ad says, “seriously, look it up.” During the most recent Memorial Day weekend, three brothers between the age of two- and six-years-old were forced to shut down their lemonade stand because they didn’t have a permit. It was especially unfortunate because all the proceeds were going to charity.
A different report from the Associated Press recounted a Georgia lemonade stand being shuttered simply because the police didn’t know how the beverage was being made. The crazy part is that the lemonade-stand hate isn’t even class based. Jerry Seinfeld’s son was put out of business by local police after he started selling in the Hamptons of all places. Perhaps it’s time to stop teaching kids that carving your own path is only okay if you pay someone else to allow you to do it. They already have a lifetime of student loan debt and federal income taxes ahead of them, right?