Minnesota law makes lemonade stand owners sour

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MOORHEAD — Lemonade stands are a way for young entrepreneurs to learn business and make some summer money. But you might not know, in most states, including Minnesota, you need a permit to set one up.

Across the border in North Dakota, a cup of lemonade can be sold at a stand without any problems because it's one of the 14 states where it's legal. However, that's not stopping some kids in Moorhead taking part in the traditional summer staple.

"They wanted to do a lemonade stand and we wanted to do a garage sale so I thought, 'Let's just do it at the same time,'" said Tessa Hansen, who's lived in Moorhead for five years.

Without a selling permit, anyone who owns a lemonade stand could be fined and shut down by police. In Clay County, they don't enforce a fine right away, but stand operators have a few days to take theirs down.

Popular lemonade brand Country Time wants to change the way lemonade stand laws are handled. They recently started a movement to try to make lemonade stands legal across the nation.


"I've frequented many lemonade stands, so I thought it would be fine, the boys just want to make some extra summer money to do fun stuff, and when they asked to set up a lemonade stand I thought, 'Why not?' I didn't have any idea that it was illegal," Hansen said.

Eli Donahue, an 11-year-old in Moorhead, is helping run a stand. He said he's ran into the law before when being behind one.

"They drove by, but they stopped, and they looked at us, and then they just kept driving," Donahue said.

With each pour of lemonade and each sale, Donahue said he hopes he won't get in trouble for something he loves to do in the summer.

"It's a weird law to have," Donahue said. "Like I don't know why."

Permits to run lemonade stands cost $50 in Minnesota.

Related Topics: SMALL BUSINESS
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