Want to open a business in America? It isn’t easy.
In Midway, Ga., a 14-year-old girl and her 10-year-old sister sold lemonade from their front yard. Two police officers bought some. But the next day, different officers ordered them to close their stand.
Their father went to city hall to try to find out why. The clerk laughed and said she didn’t know. Eventually, Police Chief Kelly Morningstar explained, “We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade and of what the lemonade was made with.”
Give me a break. If she doesn’t know, so what? But kids trying their first experiment with entrepreneurship are being shut down all over America. Officials in Hazelwood, IllinoisIll., ordered little girls to stop selling Girl Scout cookies.
It made me want to try to jump through the legal hoops required to open a simple lemonade stand in New York City. Here’s some of what one has to do:
– Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk’s Office (must be done in person)
– Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number.
– Complete 15-hr Food Protection Course!
– After the course, register for an exam that takes 1 hour. You must score 70 percent to pass. (Sample question: “What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?”) If you pass, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.
– Register for sales tax Certificate of Authority
– Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Must bring copies of the previous documents and completed forms to the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center.