Just because you’re not an adult and your business is small doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about requirements that other businesses have to obey. Local governments have a variety of ordinances designed to make sure noisy or dirty businesses don’t open up right next to a house, for example, or that businesses don’t sell rotten food.

There may be zoning requirements that prevent you from operating your business in a residential area. Or you may need a permit or license to sell certain foods.

These requirements will vary from state to state and from city to city, and how strict authorities are may vary, too. Some authorities are lenient when it comes to kids, but in some towns police have shut down lemonade stands because the kids didn’t have the required permits.

If your business idea involves selling food to the public, blocking public areas (including sidewalks) or possibly creating noise or other disturbances in your neighborhood, you (or your parents) should check with the city clerk in your town to find out if you need a permit, or if the kind of business you have in mind is allowed by the zoning in your neighborhood.

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