A five-year-old girl was fined £150 by a London council for selling cups of lemonade at a stall near her home.
Writing in the Telegraph, the girl's father Andre Spicer said his daughter had set up a stall selling drinks to music fans heading to Lovebox Festival when four council enforcement officers told her she had no licence.
"He then read a lengthy legal statement – the gist of which was that because my daughter didn't have a trading permit, she would be fined £150," Spicer wrote.
Spicer, a professor at a business school, said his daughter burst into tears and told him "I've done a bad thing."
They then packed up their table and went home.
"Holding the notice of the fine in my hand, I'm reminded just how restrictive we have become with our children," Spicer wrote in the Telegraph.
"When I was growing up, my brother and I were able to wander miles from home without adult supervision.
"We were encouraged to sell things to raise money for clubs we were part of. By selling biscuits, we learned about maths, communication and basic business skills. But more importantly, we gained a degree of confidence. I can't ever recall a council officer popping up and fining us."
Tower Hamlets Council has cancelled the fine and apologised for the incident.
A council spokesman said: "We are very sorry that this has happened. We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.
"The fine will be cancelled immediately and we have contacted Professor Spicer and his daughter to apologise."