Iowa Bill Outlaws Requiring Permits for Kids’ Businesses
In 2011, a bunch of fun-haters who apparently don't like refreshment on a hot day or having their lawn mowed for them, shut down a lemonade stand run by kids during RAGBRAI's visit to Coralville. They reportedly did so because the kids didn't have a "license" or "permit" to run the temporary business. It's happened countless other times, but that incident was singled out by Radio Iowa in reporting on the Youth Entrepreneurship Act that has now gone into effect. The Iowa Senate gave it unanimous approval and the House passed it by a large margin.
Council Bluffs representative Jon Jacobsen spearheaded the bill, and said it "encourages problem-solving, the desire to earn money is fostered, how to sell is inculcated, customer service, tenacity, creativity, leadership, and networking,” which he called during the House debate “all virtues in expanding free-market enterprise among our youth in the state of Iowa.”
79 House members voted for Youth Entrepreneurship Act, but a dozen voted against it. One opponent said she simply voted against it because to her knowledge, most cities and counties aren't requiring permits and fees for these businesses anyway. But rather than vote to forbid it from happening at all, she went on to say that passing a law would be an attempt to "micromanage" local control in Iowa communities. OK, Karen, or in this case Mary, as in representative Mary Wolfe of Clinton.
More details of the new law state that the business can only operate for up to 89 days a year without a permit and it applies to businesses run by Iowans under 18 years of age.
Senator Roby Smith of Davenport showed support too, saying it "encourages good working habits, life skills and other opportunities for youth to help their local community."