Austin council member wants to squeeze the red tape out of lemonade stands

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Every young entrepreneur has to get a start somewhere, and for the kids that go above and beyond to begin their own businesses, a lemonade stand is almost a rite of passage.

Currently, young business moguls in Austin have to find a different way to break into the shark tank, or rather, the lemonade stand business. Children technically need a permit to legally operate a lemonade stand – quite a sour discovery for young aspiring business tycoons.

Investors, start juicing, because while a one day permit goes for $35, a two day permit goes for $98. If your stand is on the sidewalk, the total permit cost totals over $460. The regulations are in place for food safety purposes, but Texas state law allows cities to exempt food operations with low level risks from certain regulations.

Although this all seems like a sour ending to a typical rite of passage, Austin City Council Member Ellen Troxclair wants to put the squeeze on lemonade stand permits. On Thursday, Troxclair is authoring a resolution that will allow children to operate lemonade stands without having to get a permit.

Each year, the city sets aside one day to encourage young entrepreneurs by recognizing “Lemonade Day,” a day in which all of the existing fees are waived. Although the city still plans to celebrate this day, Troxclair hopes that this policy change will empower children to begin lemonade stands without trying to skirt the law.

#FreeTheLemonade, a movement started by Troxclair and followed by Me and the Bees Lemonade Founder & CEO Mikaila Ulmer, encourages city members to join the fight against the fees and permits that come along with lemonade stands.

“It’s time to take a STAND to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in Austin and #FreeTheLemonade!” said Troxclair. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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