Gov. Polis Signs Bill Allowing Kids To Run Lemonade Stands Into Law

Hayley Sanchez | Colorado Public Radio

Young entrepreneurs will be allowed to participate in the summertime traditions of running lemonade stands and mowing lawns without the fear of breaking the law.

That’s because Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 19-103 into law on Monday.

The law prohibits local government or any agency of local government from requiring a minor to have a license or permit to run a small and occasional business. The business must run fewer than 84 days per year and must be far enough away from another commercial entity.

The legislation comes after Jennifer Knowles’ three sons were running a lemonade stand last summer across the street from their house in Stapleton at a public park. Police shut their stand down and told the family they didn’t have the proper permits.

“We were devastated,” she said. “We had no idea lemonade stands were illegal. So I took it upon myself, and my boys worked with me, to understand the current laws to see what we could do to make a difference.”

Knowles and her boys, Ben Guffey, 7, William Guffey, 5, and Jonathan Guffey, 3, wore bright yellow shirts to the signing Monday at the National Federation of Independent Business in downtown Denver.

Polis said the signing was a way to celebrate the achievements of young entrepreneurs in Colorado.

“What better time to get started than when you’re young? And by young, I don’t mean 25. I mean 12 or 15,” he said. “It could be a yard mowing service, it could be a lemonade stand, it could be manufacturing crafts and selling them either to a global audience through a marketplace or to neighbors or friends.”

Polis signed the law with a wooden pen, handmade by sixth-grader Coloradan, Evan Hoing, a woodturner in Colorado.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers supported the bill with Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, Sen. John Tate, R-Arapahoe, Rep. James Coleman, D-Denver, and Rep. Terri Carver, R-El Paso, sponsoring it.

“Kids across Colorado can now be free to be entrepreneurs and have to not worry about bureaucratic red tape,” Knowles said. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

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