A summertime lemonade stand used to be a rite of passage for kids back in the day. Nowadays, lemonade stands are usually used to raise money for specific things, but the news has been full of stories of kids getting the cops called on them because they are selling beverages without permits.

So if your kid wants to set up a lemonade stand in El Paso, can they do so legally?

I spoke with the City's Health Department and the short answer is no, you can't legally operate a lemonade stand in El Paso. There is a city ordinance that states you can't sell food in front of your home, and that includes lemonade. That means that you can't even apply for a permit to have a lemonade stand in front of your home, and if you are ratted out by someone, you could face a fine.

In many states, including Texas, there is a Cottage Food Law that states that lemonade would fall outside the cottage food "umbrella" and would still be governed by a local health department. Lemonade stands have been "illegal" for decades, but it is a rarely enforced law.

The bottom line is, no, there is no such thing as a permit for a lemonade stand, but it's unlikely you'll get cited for it unless someone calls the cops on you.

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