Children’s Lemonade Stands: New Updates to Texas LawSeptember 18, 2019
Running a lemonade stand just got a little sweeter for Texas children. That’s because, as of September 1st, a new Texas law, House Bill (HB) 234, officially legalizes children’s lemonade stands.
When signing HB 234 on June 10, 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott gave a toast with a glass of lemonade, explaining that this “common sense law” was necessary “because police shut down a kid’s lemonade stand.”
Why Does Texas Need a Lemonade Stand Law?
Prior to Sept. 1, 2019, children running lemonade stands in Texas were legally required to get a Peddler’s Permit. Without that permit, operating a lemonade stand would be illegal.
This permit costs about $150, and you can’t obtain one without first getting a license through the County Health Department. That’s a significant startup cost—and a lot of red tape—for a children’s lemonade stand.
Inspiration for the New Texas Lemonade Stand Law: A Sour Encounter with Overton Police
In 2015, two children in Overton had a bitter experience with the law when they set up a lemonade stand to raise money for a Father’s Day present. That’s because local police issued them a citation and shut down their lemonade stand, telling the children the stand was illegal because they didn’t have a permit.
Once the children and their mother realized everything it would take to get a permit, they stopped selling lemonade and, instead, gave it away and asked for donations.
Ultimately, the children received a lot of donations and community support—the Overton Police Department received some major backlash, both in Texas and from across the nation.
This incident inspired state Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) to create HB 234, which was unanimously passed by both chambers of the Texas Legislature.
Now, with Texas’ new Lemonade Stand Law:
- Children (under 18) are not required to have permits to run lemonade stands on private property. This includes any stand selling non-alcoholic beverages.
- Police and other enforcement officers, including Health Department regulators, cannot shut down children’s lemonade stands that are on private property or in public parks.
- Cities and homeowners’ associations are banned from passing ordinances or rules that regulate children’s lemonade stands on private property.