Week 5

Business Structures & Other Legal Considerations

CO.STARTERS Resources/Forms

Business Structure Comparison Chart
Business Structure Decision Tree

Socially-Minded Entities

What is the L3C?
This short paper by Americans for Community Development explains what an L3C is and why it was created.

B Corporation
This website is full of information on the potential of B Corps.

Mixing Mission and Business: Does Social Enterprise Need A New Legal Approach?
The Aspen Institute provides a brief overview of the emerging socially-minded business landscape and explores whether or not a new legal approach is merited.

Registering a Business

Choose & Register Your Business
The Small Business Association provides articles on naming and registering your business.

Licenses & Permits

Federal Licenses & Permits
This article from the Small Business Administration gives an overview of federal licenses and permits needed, by industry.

State Licenses & Permits
For your convenience, this page has links to every state’s licensing and permits website. Just click on your state to get started.

SBA’s Business License and Permit Tool
Just enter your zip code and industry and the SBA will connect you to what you specifically need to file.

Understand Intellectual Property and How to Protect your Business
This business guide from STOPfakes.gov is an essential starting point for understanding your intellectual property rights and finding the right protection for your business.

Applying for a Patent
Learn more about how to apply for a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Registering a Trademark or Service Mark
Find out how to file for trademark or service mark protection for your business name, symbols and logos.

Copyright your Work
Books, movies, digital works, and musical recordings are all examples of copyrighted works. Refer to this guide from U.S. Copyright Office for more information on what protection copyright affords and the process of copyrighting your work.

Hiring Staff

Hiring Guide
Everything you need to know – from background checks and employee handbooks to determining whether you have an employee or contractor – explained by the SBA.

Why Good Employees Quit
People work for people – they do not work for businesses. This article outlines why good employees leave – and how to keep them.