Legal Services

Start Small provides eligible entrepreneurs with free legal services through in-house experts and our extensive network of pro bono partners.


CORPORATE RISK ASSESSMENT

Assess your business’s operational risk and exposure to liability. Evaluate and select among risk mitigation strategies, including contract, insurance, and limited liability.
 

ENTITY SELECTION

Make an informed decision as to the legal structure best for your business (Sole Prop, Partnership, LLC, C/S/B Corp, or Cooperative) based on an understanding of the differences in cost, complexity, flexibility, control, and tax treatment.
 

ENTITY FORMATION

Register a limited liability entity for your business, draft bylaws/operating agreement and other organizational documents, and take all formation steps required by regulators and taxing authorities.
 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Protect company assets including brand identity, works of creative expression, software, and trade secrets, including through trademark and copyright.
 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Understand and observe all applicable corporate formalities, including separation of business and personal finances and required corporate meeting minutes.


COMMERCIAL LEASES

Understand your rights and obligations under an existing or proposed lease, including lease negotiation techniques, common terms, hidden costs, and other potential pitfalls.
 

EMPLOYMENT

Maintain adequate employment documentation and understand employer responsibilities, including wage & hour, discrimination laws, workers comp, disability, payroll taxes, personnel files, and employee vs. independent contractor.


TAX

Understand tax obligations and pay all required taxes, including income, FICA or self-employment, and sales taxes (if required).


CONTRACTS

Document all important business arrangements and agreements in writing, including with customers, website users, investors, and independent contractors.