Resources & Tools
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs is an economic justice and community empowerment project of the Lawyers’ Committee. LSE provides free transactional legal services to low-income individuals who want to start or develop businesses, businesses committed to investing in economically distressed communities, including hiring people with arrest and conviction records, and mom and pop shops located in areas where gentrification is a force for displacement. LSE provides workshops, clinics and consultations, and attorney matching.
Start Small Think Big is a non-profit organization, serving Californa Bay Area and New York City, that provides entrepreneurs positioned to grow their business with high quality legal, financial, and marketing assistance through a combination of in-house and pro-bono experts. Their mission is to help under-resourced entrepreneurs build businesses so owners can increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in their communities. They provide about 350 businesses per year with one-on-one services and 60% of our entrepreneurs are women.
If your business is women owned, you might want to consider getting certified as a woman-owned business. This website will help you determine if certification makes sense for your business, walk you through the process of certification, and will help you connect with lots of resources and support specifically for women-owned businesses.
If your business is minority owned you may want to apply for MBE Certification by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. For this certification, the website indicates that the business must be at least 51% operated and controlled by a minority group member (someone who is at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American).
Legal Zoom offers legal templates that you need to start or grow your business. Their templates are organized by the forms you will need to start or manage a business, including forms for tax, registration, and establishing your business. They do not offer a free service, and the price varies by template, so be sure to buy only those that you need.
The Women’s Business Development Center provides a simple, easy to understand guide to becoming certified as a woman-owned business.