Little Girl’s Lemonade Stand Shut for Not Getting a $3,500 Permit


Orange County, CA – Annabelle Lockwood makes the best homemade lemonade around Fountain Valley. Using her grandma’s recipe, a homemade stand built by her father and a lot of passion, she serves the gourmet refreshments – classic or pink lemonade, and flavors like peach, blueberry ginger and watermelon – to eager customers and charitable events.

But her passion is being tested by the regulatory hand of the State. Orange County authorities shut down Annabelle’s “small business” and gave her 30 days to get the proper permit and license.

The permit will cost around $200, but in order to secure the permit Annabelle will have to meet a bevy of government requirements – costing $3,500 – just to serve fresh-squeezed fruit juices to thirsty passersby.

According to the GoFundMe account set up by the Lockwood’s to help meet this financial burden levied by the State:

1. She needs to upgrade her cart to get it up to commercial standards, in order to pass the inspection.

2. She needs to make the lemonade in a licensed facility. Licensed kitchens require: Liability insurance, a business license, a deposit and an hourly or monthly fee for use.

3. She needs commercial grade dispensers and bottles.

The family has received enormous support after media began telling Annabelle’s story, but in the meantime she has had to “turn down a wedding, corporate events, movies in the park and church events,” according to local KTLA 5.

Annabelle had previously set up her stand to help charities such as children’s cancer research and homeless services, but that was put on hold pending government permitting.

“This isn’t just another business venture… it’s becoming a life lesson for a young ambitious entrepreneur. She will be able to do so much more in the community as well as at charity and school events to help others. She’s extremely passionate about her business, and we are so proud of her for creating something that so many others can enjoy!”

It’s turning out to be a hard and fast lesson in how government requirements on business – many of which play no role in protecting people or the environment – put a heavy, unnecessary burden on aspiring entrepreneurs. Revenue collection is often the only driver of government permits and licenses.

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Bearing down on the age-old tradition of youngsters setting up lemonade stands demonstrates how obsessed the State has become in “regulating” small business.

It appears that Annabelle made it through the gauntlet, with the help of many who donated to her GoFundMe account after reading her story. Others are not so fortunate, though.

In Portland, Ore. an 11-year-old girl wanted to sell mistletoe from their farm at a holiday market to help her dad pay for her braces, which cost $5,000. But the Parks Bureau refused to let her set up without a permit, lease or concession agreement. She was told she could beg instead.

  • hang3xc

    Couldn’t all the lemonade stand nonsensical harassment by cops or health inspectors be done away with by simply not charging for the lemonade and instead having a donations cup? That way the product is not being sold. It can’t be illegal to give away free lemonade, can it?

    • JennaTrull

      That’s actually a pretty good idea, but a LOT of cities are hip to that game and have written specific laws to forbid it.

    • Mountain Rock Hauler

      Simplest way is tell the “scum” that U.S. law prohibits those under the age of 18 from entering into legally binding contracts. You can not require a person under the age of 18 to get a permit. That would violate U.S. law.

      • Netizen_James

        And if they can’t get a permit, they can’t operate the business. So Starbucks wins again…..

    • rhoner

      Some old guy, 90, has been arrested twice for giving away meals to homeless people.

      • verySladEn420

        Once I was offering anyone who is hungry PJ sandwiches in a city park, and a little business man came up to me shooting his mouth off saying that I’m endangering people’s lives by doing what I was doing. He even called the cops on me about it! I was even wearing gloves! Haha

      • James

        he was a pastor in Ft. Lauderdale Florida

    • Steve Gazzo

      When I was going to a lot of underground parties, we got around the liquor license laws by selling drink tickets for cash, then exchanging the tickets for drinks. You see, you need a license to sell booze, but you can give booze away as a prize in a raffle without one. So we had a raffle where every ticket won a drink.

  • March 21, 2016 Fascism, American Style By John W. Whitehead

    “If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.” ― Henry A. Wallace, 33rd Vice President of the United States

  • Hosea Mcadoo

    Has the country gone completely insane? USA used to have some degree of compassion and freedom. It’s now like living in the old USSR. Who would have thought Russia would get more free and USA less?.

    I now understand the huge increase on those leaving USA permanently. What a (disappointing) country.

    Who would have thought giving up democracy for fascism would have brought this? I have a feeling it will get much worse. Too bad Stalin is not here to enjoy this.

    • Jefferson Adams

      Yes, the USA HAS gone completely insane, which is why i left it in 1999. I could read the writing on the wall, which was already forecasting things reported in the article above. The bureaucrats have taken over and continue to play their petty power games more and more. Things like this will not stop until every American rises up and strikes down this terrible scourge on our once-great country. Complaining about it in comments to these articles will NOT do the job – only positive and aggressive action will change things. So – what are you doing about it besides complaining?

      • susanne.chapman

        I usually make in the span of 6000-8000 dollars every month working on the internet. For anyone eager to do simple computer-based tasks for 2h-5h /a day at your home and make good checks while doing it… Then this task is for you…


    • Difdi

      Stalin? Donald Trump ran for office on a platform so close to the one Adolf Hitler ran for office on that there is an over 95% match between them once you strip away specific names and account for the language difference.

      The problem though, is that while Trump’s spiritual predecessor started out domestic, he wound up exporting his evil globally. Trump will likely do the same.

  • Tim St John

    Fuck Orange county and their church lady, nazi brigade. O/C is the GREEDIEST county in California, a state where “The Skim” is endless and politicians take, take and take some more. Then they put mountains of pressure of police chiefs and state officials to write citations. SCUM of the earth.
    Fuck their permits and regulations. I’ve sold sunglasses and rugs all over O/C and I’ve never paid them a dime. They can KISS my lily white ass.

  • FiuToYou

    Annabelle. Change you sign to ‘Clintons Lemonade’, problem solved! This makes me sick. America, home of the crushed population! The local leaders answered ads to get their jobs;// “If you’re big, dumb and stupid with no heart, we want you”. That’s what’s in control.

  • Ibcamn

    just wait till you have to start paying off the cops….

  • Ed

    Well 99% of kids lemonade stands are only open till the picture gets empty. Is this a kid selling lemonade or a BUSINESS?

    • rhoner

      Say it is a business run by an adult. Do we really need all of these permits, inspections, licenses? Really? Hundreds of hours of training to give manicures? Hundreds of dollars for permits to braid hair? A license to be a barber? I would suggest even a license to do plumbing or electrical work isn’t really necessary. All this crap drives up the cost of housing, day care, education, transportation, and more.

      • Ed

        Seems we have to pay to be regulated. You think we do not need to be regulated, right!

      • Netizen_James

        So you’re ok with buying bread that’s 75% sawdust?
        Let the buyer beware, and all that, right?

        • rhoner

          Informed consumers, and it is easy to be informed these days, are far better watchdogs than government agencies. If the folks in Flint had NOT relied on government to provide safe water they would have been far better off. Government “regulation” gives us a false sense of safety. Free markets are terrific at weeding out the worst producers. Would I eliminate all safety regulations? No. Just the redundant silly ones that provide no measurable increase in safety.

  • Brian King

    america land of the free? nah more like $3,500

  • Guy

    No, not quite. America Is, “A Land Of The People, For The People, By The People.” Unless I can make a buck out of it, through Tax & Regulations, then It’s All Mine.

  • ScottRC

    God bless the Democrats, & their Tax ‘Em & Regulate ‘Em To Death Policies!!! We ALL need MORE Gov’t control in our lives!! Remember, as our Lord Obama said to business owners everywhere, YOU DID NOT BUILD THAT!!!! Oh, and Muslims built the fabric of our country, that was another good one!! All Hail the New Odummy….Crooked Hildebeast, 2016!!

    • Netizen_James

      No, these are REPUBLICAN rules, put in place to protect their corporate cronies from competition by the nonwealthy. Just like the zoning laws that favor Starbucks over GimmeCoffee, because Starbucks has the big bucks to buy politicians with. This is what CAPITALISM looks like.

      • ScottRC

        AAUGHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another Child Left Behind heard from….so sad.

      • Chris Maddox

        Are you the first person in your family born without a tail???

  • Prince

    To get a permit, don’t you need to be 18?

  • rhoner

    The story really isn’t that the gov is doing this crap to this kid. It is that they do this crap to EVERYONE. Get involved in your local government and put an end to all this nanny-state BS. Very, very few government regulations actually protect the public but rather most serve to protect some special interest. Take an axe to it!!

  • Razedbywolvs

    Well the good news is a grate way to teach kids about socialism.

    • Netizen_James

      Socialism? No, this is a great way to teach kids about how crony capitalism works. This has NOTHING to do with socialism. A bunch of people starting a lemonade co-op for saving money by buying lemons in bulk is ‘socialism’.

      • Razedbywolvs

        Socialism: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.
        Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government.
        Company: a business organization that makes, buys, or sells goods or provides services in exchange for money.
        Corporation: A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law.
        AKA co-op. Guss who’s permission you need to start a co-op.

  • verySladEn420

    Good job system. You managed to help another very young person see you for the vile, nasty thing you really are. I look forward to seeing these little ones growing up to resist you..

  • Netizen_James

    “Revenue collection is often the only driver of government permits and licenses.”

    No, that’s silly. The purpose of these permits and licences is to increase barriers to entry, and thus reduce competition, and drive up prices and profits for the ‘insider’ businesses. To make sure that only the already wealthy can open up new ways to separate consumers from their cash. can’t have anything like real economic mobility – the point is to keep the children of the poor, poor, and make sure that only the children of the wealthy have opportunities for wealth. This is part and parcel of ‘crony capitalism’. Zoning regulations are another common factor – all the ‘commercially zoned’ real estate is already owned by the existing cronies of the city council – and no new locations will get authorized, because that would hurt the profits of the cronies.