Young boys selling lemonade faced an unpleasant surprise when the Denver police shut down their lemonade stand for not obtaining a permit.
The boys, along with their mother Jennifer Knowles, set up their lemonade stand during Memorial Day weekend to show off their entrepreneurship skills and raise money for a good cause.
“The boys went online and they decided they wanted to help a child in another country less fortunate, and we found a place in Colorado Springs called Charity International, and they picked a five-year-old boy in Indonesia,” Knowles told CBS Denver.
But their business venture turned sour when a nearby lemonade vendor called the police to shut down the stand for not having a permit.
“We had never thought that the other lemonade vendor could feel threatened by our little kid lemonade stand,” Knowles said. “I can understand why someone would get upset.”
The mother and her boys set up their lemonade stand across the street from their home, where an outdoor art show had been taking place, Denver Channel 7 reported. Thirty minutes later, the police arrived to shut down their stand.
According to Denver’s permitting department, there are no rules against setting up lemonade stands. But a spokesperson for the department said if someone complains about a lemonade stand, there are no rules to protect those who set up the stand.
“If our inspectors go to a lemonade stand, it means we’ve received a complaint, and generally complaints stem from high levels of activity or noise that disrupt neighbors,” Communications Program Manager Alexandra Foster told Denver7. “So generally, as long as the impact is minimal, we’re happy to let kids have fun in the summer.”
Other towns across the country also have ordinances on the books that require budding entrepreneurs to obtain a business license.
In 2015, police shut down two Texas girls’ lemonade stand because they did not have a permit.
That same year, police stopped two high school seniors after they went door to door advertising their snow shoveling services. They were not arrested or ticketed.