2022 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Blackwell
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT ANY LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY FROM REQUIRING A LICENSE OR PERMIT FOR CERTAIN BUSINESSES THAT ARE OPERATED ON AN OCCASIONAL BASIS BY A MINOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(a) In the absence of common sense relief, laws imposed and administered at the local level requiring businesses to obtain permits or licenses to operate, with the distinct possibility of criminal or civil penalties for noncompliance, may be used to ensnare minors wanting to operate small-scale businesses on a very limited basis; and
(b) These laws impose inordinate and heavy-handed regulatory burdens on minor entrepreneurs who are not seeking to compete with fully established commercial entities operated by adults, frustrate and thwart entrepreneurial activity minors have undertaken from the founding of the republic as a means to learn about business and economic principles and to make money, and divert law enforcement resources of local governments from investigating and prosecuting more serious criminal or civil matters.
(2) By enacting this act, the Legislature intends to provide a uniform ban on the imposition and administration of such licensing and permitting laws across the state, avoid the inconsistent application of licensing and permitting laws depending upon the political subdivision in which a minor's business is being operated, and give every minor entrepreneur across the state an even playing field within which to gain practical experience in business and economic matters and an opportunity to make money by operating a business on a limited basis that does not intend to compete with permanent, ongoing commercial entities operated by adults. Toward this end, the Legislature further declares that the matters discussed in this section are matters of statewide concern. Notwithstanding the enactment of this act and the protections it affords minor entrepreneurs, the Legislature encourages minor entrepreneurs to understand that, in order to successfully compete as adults in the business world, they will need to fully comply with the existing regulatory and legal environment.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local governmental entity, or any unit of a local governmental entity, shall not require a license or permit for a business that is:
(a) Operated on an occasional basis by a minor; and
(b) Located a sufficient distance from a commercial entity, determined by the local governmental entity, that is required to obtain a permit or license from the local governmental entity, or a unit of the local governmental entity, to prevent the minor's business from becoming a direct economic competitor of the commercial entity.
(4) Nothing in this act prohibits a local governmental entity from enacting and enforcing local laws under the local governmental entity's general police power in regard to the manner in which a business may be conducted by a minor with the exception of a requirement that the minor obtain a permit or license before engaging in the business.
(5) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings set forth below:
(a) "Business" means any enterprise carried on for the purpose of gain or economic profit; except that the act of employees rendering services to employers are not included in this definition.
(b) "Local governmental entity" means any county, municipality, school district, public hospital or other political subdivision of the state.
(c) "Minor" means a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
(d) "Occasional basis" means a business that does not operate more than ninety (90) days in any one (1) calendar year.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2022.