For information and resources see our COVID-19 Support Page. If your small business or nonprofit needs COVID-19 related legal or capacity building help, contact us.

Services for Small Businesses

Client and attorneys volunteer at legal clinic

Eligibility

Following our vision for a more equitable Washington we are proud to offer two avenues of assistance for low income small business owners; our clinics and our full representation services. To be eligible for free legal services through our clinics or full representation, all business owners must demonstrate the following:

  • The business is registered in Washington state;
  • Is unable to pay for legal fees without significant impairment to operations;
  • Owner(s) household income is below 80% of the King County HUD guidelines; (all owners must qualify if more than one)
  • Seeks legal assistance on a business or organizational matter

Legal Clinic

The Small Business Legal Clinic is for low income Washington state business owners who have short questions for an attorney. Our clinics are staffed by volunteer attorneys and designed for questions that can be answered in the 60 minutes the clinic provides. In partnership with Ventures, volunteer lawyers give free legal advice to small business owners at our monthly Small Business Legal Clinics.

Given the conditions around COVID-19 all clinics will be held remotely until further notice. Our clinics are held in the evenings with limited spots available. Please note times and dates are not flexible.

As we are always striving to be as accessible as possible. Upon request we offer translation and live transcription services. Please let us know how we can support your accessibility needs.

If interested in scheduling an appointment for the clinic please email contact@communities-rise.org.

Full Representation

Full representation is the option we recommend for legal work that requires in-depth assistance to complete. By applying low income small business owners get to work one-on-one with an attorney until the scope of work has been completed. Attorneys will answer questions and provide legal advice on business law needs. Please contact us at contact@communities-rise.org if interested in learning more.

Types of Legal Issues We Assist Small Business Owners With:

  • Business Entity Formation – LLC/PLLC, Sole Proprietor, Partnership, C-Corporation, Social Purpose Corporation
  • Drafting Agreements: Shareholder Agreements, Operating Agreements.
  • Advice on Corporate Governance
  • Maintenance and Compliance with State and Federal Law
  • Taxes – Advice regarding federal, state, and local taxes.
  • Contracts – Drafting and advising on business contracts.
  • Employment – Preparing, reviewing and revising personnel policies, independent contractor agreements, vendor agreements, employment contracts, and confidentiality agreements.
  • Real Estate – drafting or reviewing property leases and purchase and sale agreements.
  • Intellectual Property – Assistance with registering trademarks, and advising on copyright protection, license agreements, or website-related agreements. However, we do not provide assistance on patent matters.
  • Risk and Liability Assessment – Assistance on risk and liability assessment including waiver and release forms, and advice on insurance coverage.

What We Do Not Do:

  • Litigation Matters – Do not provide assistance on litigation matters or with hearings.
  • Conflicts/Embezzlement – Do not assist with situations of conflict between board members/staff, or embezzlement.
  • Individual Claims against Nonprofits – Do not provide assistance to individuals with their pursuit of claims against nonprofit and community organizations.
  • Ongoing Legal Assistance – Unable to help find an attorney to serve on a nonprofit’s board, or have an attorney be on-call or serve as General Counsel.
  • Legal Advice Over the Phone – Do not provide legal advice over the phone. We are not a “hotline” service. We only provide legal assistance upon receiving a written application. However, we are available to answer questions about the application process over the phone or by email.

Please reach out to contact@communities-rise.org with any questions.