State Governments

Texas Legalizes Lemonade Stands Run by Children

The state previously required that kids get a permit.


Texas kids of the entrepreneurial variety are now free to legally peddle lemonade. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a law on Monday that will allow children to set up lemonade stands without a permit.

Rep. Matt Krause (R–Fort Worth) introduced the legislation in order to eliminate licensing requirements for kids under 18 who seek to sell lemonade and other non-alcoholic beverages. Texas isn't the only state to attract attention for its hardline policies on lemonade. As I wrote back in March:

A similar law recently passed in Colorado after the police shut down a kid's lemonade stand over licensing woes. The makeshift business was operating next to a festival where adults were selling the same beverage.

The Dallas Morning News highlights that several young lemonade vendors across Texas have met the same fate. Unaware that their business endeavors were in violation of state law, sisters Andria, 8, and Zoey Green, 7, had their stand shuttered in 2015 by police who noted that they were operating without a permit.

The law goes into effect September 1. Abbott tweeted a video of him signing the bill, calling it a "commonsense" law.

"Cheers!" he said, holding a tall glass of lemonade.

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  1. What about the Limaide stands?

  2. Yeah, but as soon as a kid poisons a bunch of folks like that one did in…wait a sec…oh…never mind.

  3. The test case there does actually present an issue to me. If the “professional” vendor paid for and reserved a spot at the venue then I do see a problem with the kids setting up right next to them without that same requirement. It’s an unfair competitive advantage especially since I assume the adult vendors are held under all sorts of regulations to operate their stand.
    Of course I’m in favor of letting kids run their stand on private/public property where they have permission. I have a problem with most regulations to engage in basic commerce. However, when an event/property sells retail space and requires certain permitting it isn’t right for a competing business to undercut them without facing the same initial costs.

    1. The “Fix” here will be for the adults to be the true owners and operators of the drink stands, but to present a kid or kids as the owner(s)… (the adults are just there keeping the kids safe, and helping when the cops aren’t looking, you see). Have it both ways!

      This exact same thing has often happened with “minority owned” and “women owned” businesses, when preferential treatment is given to such businesses.

      1. True. It’s why as much as I’d like to encourage cute kids to entrepreneurship I can’t stand behind them abusing a market distortion based on differing treatment. It opens up sleazier intentioned people to use policies and regulations to gain a market advantage

        1. I will buy Girl Scout cookies from a scout going door to door. But I won’t buy them from a parent at work. The point is for the kids to learn salesmanship (salesgirlship?) not for them to foist off their tasks to their parents like it was Wednesday’s homework.

    2. From what I recall, the test case does not line up well with your characterization here. Yes, the “professional” vendor paid for, reserved and operated a spot inside the venue. As I remember the case, however, the kids set up their stand outside the venue on the family’s front lawn.

      Yes, the family’s lawn was very close to the venue. It might even have been right across the street. But reserving a space inside a venue does not give you unlimited rights to attack your competitors outside that space.

      Note that the “professional” did not confront the family or the venue operators on any contractual basis (which is the essence of your argument above). Instead, the “professional” called the cops to complain about lack of general business license and health inspections. Now, I would argue that those regulations are overkill even for most “professional” vendors but they are especially stupid when applied to a kid’s lemonade stand. And the “professional” was being a bully by trying to twist those regulations for personal anti-competitive gain.

      1. Good catch

    3. My understanding is they weren’t set up in the vendor space in the festival, they were on the sidewalk outside of the festival area

  4. Abbott tweeted a video of him signing the bill, calling it a “commonsense” law.

    “You know, like banning guns and abortions.”

    1. Deregulation is commonsense though. Let’s work to give that term the right meaning again

    2. Common sense. It’s not common at all, and it makes no sense. Two lies for the price of one.

      1. What do you ever be talking about?

  5. “We had to pass a law because police shut down a kid’s lemonade stand.”

    “But because police busted a kid for possessing a weed or because police confiscated an innocent person’s car, well, FTS.”

  6. So childhood is legal now ? Well, until you come out of the birth canal. I’m not saying abortion should or will be illegal , but , having no time line on it and abortions in the last weeks or minutes of birth is a bridge too far.

    1. Oh, and I prefer gin in my Lemonade.

      1. “As long as the kid is not drinking the gin, we’ll pass another commonsense law allowing xir to serve it.”

      2. BYOG.

    2. “”So childhood is legal now ? “”

      No one is government is going that far.

    3. I am looking forward to the extension of NC law nationwide. When the progressives decide fully that killing unborn babies can be extended to killing them after they are born, I figure I can start killing progressives as much as I want by calling it an “ex-post facto abortion”.

      Of course, historically, the progressives have always preferred that the aborting be focused on certain, more “undesirable” racial groups, but hey, why split hairs, right?

      Surely the progressives won’t mind my applying their logic to them … right?

  7. Is Trump for or against kids with lemonade stands?

    Because if he’s for it, you’re a bunch of stupid rednecks–and I’m against it.

    That’s what being a libertarian is all about.

    1. +1

    2. Depends are they selling to illegals? That would be aiding and abetting. Little Susie better use e-verify before selling to anyone.

      1. You’d have to know they were illegals…”knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact” and you’d have to harbor them or transport them or encourage them “to come to, enter, or reside in the United states.”

        Little Susie just needs to not hire any illegals…

    3. Until he tweets about it, we can assume that he’s both for and against it.

      /Schrodinger’s Lemonade Stand

  8. > It’s now legal for kids to sell lemonade at stands.

    No, it’s not legal until September! Meaning the kids miss an entire season of lemonade selling. Just as the heat wave rolls across the state.

    1. This is too on point

    2. Is it so hard to write the law so that it becomes effective when the governor signs it? It’s not like they’re criminalizing something, so they have to publicize it and say, “Starting January 1, it will be illegal for people to walk dogs on unfenced lawns next to sidewalks.”

  9. This makes you realize how bullshit the whole framework is that you have to wait until the government legalizes something as basic as selling sugar water.

  10. “”We had to pass a law because police shut down a kid’s lemonade stand. “””

    And the cops did that because of the actions of politicians. I like the way he tries to pin it on the cops.

  11. DFACS will just come in and scoop those kids up, since they’ll be out in the hot sun exposed to strangers. They’ll wait for mom to run into the house to pee, of course, then claim she abandoned them.

  12. I guess now that the state can’t use business licensing laws to crack down on lemonade stands, they’ll need some other excuse.

    I am thinking child labor violations. An 8 year old kid working for themselves is running a sweatshop; having an 8-year-old employee is never ok. No excuses, try him as an adult I say.

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