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How to Get a Lemonade Stand Permit and License

Do you want to start a lemonade stand business and need a license? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to get a lemonade stand license and permit.

Lemonade stand businesses focus on selling lemonade to hot and thirsty passersby. Some of these stands have fixed locations, while some are operated as mobile businesses. A lemonade stand makes money by selling lemonade. Lemonade is typically sold by the glass or cup.

They price their lemonade at $5 or less. The exact cost depends on a stand’s location. Even in high-demand areas, businesses resist going over $5 because most customers in modern America will think twice before spending more than $5 on an impulse purchase.

A lemonade stand is ideal for anyone who is looking for an easy business. Lemonade stands have low startup costs and are easy to run, yet they can be quite profitable. For these reasons, they appeal to entrepreneurs of all ages from kids to retirees.

To provide the freshest possible product and enhance customer experience, each lemonade is usually made fresh when ordered. Making lemonade involves squeezing lemons, adding sugar water, and ice, and mixing the ingredients together.

It takes just a minute to make a glass of lemonade. When not serving customers, lemonade stands order more supplies, clean their stand, and market their business. Business owners who have mobile stands must also spend time researching where to take their stands.

Why a Permit is Important When Running a Lemonade Stand

Each year, many of these stands get shut down by the police or local health department because opening a lemonade stand without licensure is against local ordinances and health codes. Only 14 states allow unpermitted lemonade stands in the united states.

So if you’re not in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, or Connecticut, then selling lemonade without permits (even for kids) is breaking the law.

If you find that you’re required to have a permit before you can start this business, note that the license is pretty easy to get. You can get the application filled out, get your stuff and begin vending within a few days. Some states support local agriculture and will not require anything at all. But don’t worry if you are required.

Getting a permit to sell lemonade is easy and is something you’ll only have to do once. The exact regulations for a lemonade stand permit vary by location.

So you’ll need to check in with your city or local government to find out what the process is and how much it costs. Some communities also require you to get a health inspection, business license, or permits for putting up signage around your community. So be sure to ask about these when getting that vendor’s permit.

Getting a Lemonade Stand Permit in the United States

A food vendor license is a legal permit that allows you and your business to sell food in a certain municipality. The process to get this license can vary depending on location. From there, it’s a matter of applying for the right license and passing any applicable inspections.

While the FDA may govern food and drug processing on the federal level, many of the laws aimed toward food vendors are from the state and local government levels.

It simply means that location is a big factor in what licenses you will need for your stand. Research your locality and fortify yourself with the vendor laws in the area. You can begin by checking your state licensing website, then move to city websites, and finally, go to the requirements for individual counties that you’ll be working within.

If you’re unsure of the exact department you’re looking for, go to the state or county government website and use the search function to look for “food vendor.”

When you find that area of the website, you then move to ascertain the eligibility requirements for a license from the government. Then, you need to find out about the process. Just like is stated above, the application process can vary depending on where you want to mount your lemonade stand, although there are some general steps you must take.

First, you’ll need to get the application from the website of the municipality you’re hoping to start your lemonade stand. Fill it out carefully and completely. It’s going to ask you for information about your business structure and your proposed location schedule.

In bigger cities, there may be a limited number of vendor licenses available at any given time. In theory, this keeps the industry competitive yet prevents overcrowding. If you want to operate in one of these municipalities, it may be very difficult to get a new permit.

Sometimes, there might be a long waiting list, but in some cases, there will be a lottery you can enter. Once you finish and submit your vendor application, you will be mandated to pay the application fee at the time of submission. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you’ll need to pay the permit fees before you receive it.

Most permits are good for a year and then you’ll need to renew them. Have it in mind that your vendor license will probably come with a health department inspection of your stand. Although it all depends on the process where you apply for your license, you’ll either need to report to the local health department building at your appointed time or the inspector will come to you.

The inspection will just make sure that the local food handling laws are being followed. Note that the health inspection fee is separate from the license fee. You’ll need to pay for it when you schedule your appointment or send your request for inspection.

If your business does not pass the health inspection, you’ll need to schedule or request another one as well as pay for the re-inspection.


To ascertain if your municipality requires lemonade stands to acquire permits, Google your health department (your county) phone number, and ask to speak to the office that does restaurant inspections.

Calmly explain to this person that you are thinking of opening a fresh-squeezed lemonade stand and would like to know what the process is for licensing/permitting. This person will point you in the right direction. Also, be sure to get your raw materials from reliable and clean sources.

Every successful lemonade stand needs some delicious lemonade, either fresh squeezed or from a mix. You’ll also need disposable cups, ice, pitchers or dispensers, and something to hold cash or payments.