Are you required to get a permit for a bake sale / lemonade stand?


Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
Found another reddit discussion that I feel would make for a great discussion here, you can view the reddit post here. A UT student wants to organize a bake sale/lemonade stand off-campus, as a means to fundraise for cancer research and support services. What type of permits would usually be required for such an event? The redditor stated they already have a food handler's license, so they're set there. They are also seeking out recommendations for proper locations in Austin, especially since they don't happen to be from the area.

Please do share any insights or experiences when it comes to obtaining a permit for this sort of thing.
Austin, Texas, United States
The redditor in this case should really check with the State of Texas' Cottage Law, which when selling baked good, allows for the sale of food made in home kitchens. This could cover the bake sale items as long as they meet the criteria within the law.

On the other hand, when it comes to lemonade stand regulations, they might not be covered under the Cottage Law like baked goods are. Instead of selling the lemonade, they could offer it for free, or take donations to sort of bypass the permit requirements.

When it comes to the location where you want this bake sale/lemonade stand, keep in mind that some locations might not even require a permit. I hear if you set up on North Lamar, they don't require permits. But I'd still double check and verify that these regulations are right, especially with the location you choose to sell at. As long as you're within compliance, you should be good.
I'm not in Texas, so forgive me, but my local jurisdiction's policy would depend on the location of the proposed stand. Is it on private property? Does the seller have permission from the property owner to be on their property? If it's not in the right of way, that's really all they'd need.
Whether a permit is required for a bake sale or lemonade stand varies by location. Generally speaking, small, occasional events run by children or non-profit organizations might not require permits. However, in some places because of health and safety regulations, you need permits even for temporary food sales. Always verify local rules before organizing such events.
It largely depends on the state laws, the nature of the goods sold and other factors. I am not sure about Texas, but in California for example, a permit is definitely needed for such activities.