Can anyone sell lemonade/snow cones on Lake Michigan beaches?

Can you just randomly set up a lemonade or snow cone stand on the beaches of Lake Michigan? We will look at a Reddit thread and Michigan state laws.

Lemonade stand

It’s one thing to let your child set up a lemonade stand in your front yard. They’re usually cute and most neighbors (not all) won’t complain. You may want to check with your local community as you may need a permit which could put your child’s stand at risk of being closed.

A poster on Reddit asked, “Can I sell lemonade and snow cones on the beach of Lake Michigan?” The person was looking for something to do during the summer and thought it would be a great way to meet people and make friends, since they are new to the Ludington area.

r/Michigan Reddit page

r/Michigan Reddit page

I was impressed by some of the comments from the Michigan Reddit page when answering the poster’s question about the lemonade/snow cone stand. 51Flowers and mufasa1023 both had great responses to the thread.

r/Michigan Reddit page

r/Michigan Reddit page

Several people in the thread pointed out that you need permits and others offered suggestions for other products you can try and sell. One person whose Reddit handle is “hostile adult” pointed out that setting up the crowds on the beach can cost more than you’ll earn. What does Michigan law say about this lemonade stand?

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Michigan’s lemonade stand law

So is it legal or illegal to set up a random lemonade stand in Michigan? Michigan municipal regulations prohibit operating a lemonade stand without a permit, but it is not always clear when a permit is required.

According to, the Michigan Food Law of 2000 requires the licensing of any person or business that processes, packages, cans, preserves, freezes, manufactures, stores, prepares, serves, sells or offers for sale any food. Looks like the people of Reddit knew their stuff.

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Gallery credit: Big Joe Pesh