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No licence, no lemonade: Officials shut down kids' charity stand

File #: 587169Exclusive iStockphoto Photographer A classic summer lemonade stand. Credit: iStockphoto (Royalty-Free) Keywords: Lemonade Stand, Lemonade, Child, Stand, Summer, Business, Lemon, Currency, Drink, Restaurant, Sugar, Heat

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Lemonade stands run by children are a quintessential part of summer. More and more, so are stories of them getting shut down for not having their paperwork in order.

The latest example comes from Maryland, where county inspectors shut down a children's lemonade stand operating outside the U.S. Open and fined the parents $500.

The problem, according to the WUSA-TV, is the children didn't obtain a vendor's licence and aren't allowed to operate.

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It might sound strange that kids need to contend with bureaucrats and red tape to do something as simple as sell lemonade for a few cents a cup. County officials say it's illegal to operate even a small lemonade stand without a licence and argued the children's operation was rather large. They said other vendors have been warned not to set up near the site of the U.S. Open because of safety and traffic concerns.

Yet, the county has given countless of permits to area residents so they can make extra cash - some say tens of thousands - by turning their yards into parking spots.

The real kicker? The children were hoping to raise money for pediatric cancer.

But this is hardly the first time lemonade-selling children have been on the wrong side of city hall.

Last summer, officials in Oregon shut down a seven-year-old's lemonade stand at an art fair because she didn't get a $120 temporary restaurant licence.

Around the same time, two 12-year-old boys in Port Coquitlam, B.C. had their lemonade and popcorn stand shuttered because they didn't have a business licence.

The list goes on.

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And it turns out bylaw officers are not the only thorn in the side of would-be lemonade entrepreneurs.

Earlier this year, a girl running a lemonade stand to fundraise for a two-year-old cousin who is developmentally disabled and has a rare intestinal disorder was robbed.

Should children be required to get a license to operate a lemonade stand? Have you or your children had any bad lemonade stand experiences?

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About the Author

Carly Weeks has been a journalist with The Globe and Mail since 2007.  She has reported on everything from federal politics to the high levels of sodium in the Canadian diet. More

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