TLP Legal Alerts
New Rule Affects Small Nonprofit Organizations (regarding written notice to employees about Unemployment Insurance)
Small Business Resources
Published by The Law Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, with pro bono assistance from Paul Hastings, LLP, 2015.
Most Important Considerations When Starting and Operating a Small Business – Topics include: Choosing Appropriate Business Entity, Formalizing Contracts and more. Conducted by: Angie Hall, TLP Staff Attorney and Tom Shannon, Shannon Law Offices. Hosted by Illinois Legal Aid Online.
Legal Steps to Starting a Small Business in Illinois – Topics covered include: Choosing Legal Entities, Choosing the Right Insurance and more. Conducted by: Dan Cotter, Korey Cotter Heather & Richardson. Hosted by Illinois Legal Aid Online.
The Law Project often works alongside other organizations to provide support for small businesses. The organizations listed below provide useful resources.
- The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Duman Microenterprise Center provides one-on-one counseling at no charge for start-ups and pre-existing small businesses in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Center offers entrepreneurial training, business assistance, mentoring and access to capital.
- ACCION Chicago is a small business lender, dedicated to providing financing and business education to small businesses.
- WBDC delivers business services and financial assistance to empower women towards entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency.
- SCORE serves small businesses by providing free business counseling, management consulting, and low cost workshops.
- Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs provides resources and information for businesses operating in the city.
- The Illinois Small Business Development Center provides Management Assistance, one on one Counseling and specialized training workshops, to new and emerging businesses.
Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center offers a wide variety of supportive services for startup and existing small businesses located in and around Illinois Institute of Technology.
- A Guide to Being a Fiscal Sponsor: Is it a Good Fit for Your Organization?
- A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations: Bankruptcy Issues
- Is NPO Way to Go?
- Legal Structures for Social Enterprises
- Maybe It’s Time to Incorporate: Various Issues for Community Groups to Consider Before Consulting An Attorney (28 pgs, published Feb. 2007)
- How To Obtain Pro Bono Legal Services for Your New Nonprofit Detailed webinar highlighting eligibility, application requirements, process, timeframes, fees and FAQ’s. Hosted by Illinois Legal Aid Online.
- How Do I Create a Non-Profit Corporation? Step-by-step guide to obtaining recognition of income tax exemption. Hosted by Illinois Legal Aid Online.
- Understanding Not-For-Profit Board Composition
- Bylaws Fact Sheet for Illinois Nonprofits
- Introduction to Board of Directors Meetings
- Obtaining 501(c)(3) status for Economic Development Organizations
- Tax Issues for Exempt Organizations – A Primer
- A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations – General Charitable Organization Compliance
- A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations – Employment Issues
- Mock Board of Directors Meeting – Hosted by Illinois Legal Aid Online.
- Illinois Sales Tax Exemption for:
- Fiscal Sponsorship FAQ
- A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations – Dissolution of Illinois Not-For-Profit Organizations
- Nonprofits In Financial Distress
- Employment Issues for Nonprofits In Financial Distress
- Fiduciary Duties of Directors and Officers of Distressed Nonprofit Organizations
- Steps to Dissolve an Illinois Not-for-profit Corporation
- Annual Reporting Requirements for Charitable Organizations
- Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance for Nonprofits and Small Businesses:
A Guide for Organizing Not-For-Profit Corporations written by the Illinois Secretary of State.
Illinois Secretary of State, Business Services – Online filing center for nonprofits and small businesses, and search to see whether an organization is in good standing (up to date on all filings and fees, etc.).
Internal Revenue Service – Tax information for Charities – Exempt Organization FAQ’s, forms, etc. Read about the “life-cycle” of a nonprofit organization, as well as IRS guidance and updates.
IRS Stay Exempt – Tax Basics for Exempt Organizations – An IRS micro-site specifically created for 501(c)(3) organizations and those seeking 501(c)(3) status.
Illinois Attorney General, Building Better Charities – Maintains a database of all registered charities in Illinois – can search to see your organization’s registration status, and provides links to Filing Requirements, Registration and Annual Report Forms, Forming a Charitable Organization, etc.
BoardSource – works to build effective boards of directors.
Alliance for Justice – Information on lobbying activities and 501(c)(3) organizations.
Donors Forum of Chicago – workshops and resources for grants and grantwriting.
SCORE Chicago – SCORE serves nonprofits by providing free business/operations counseling, management consulting, and low-cost workshops.
CPA’s for the Public Interest – workshops and resources for budgeting, accounting and other financial information.
Idealist – articles, workshops and other resources for nonprofits.
Charity Channel – Online discussion groups and articles.
Lumity – technology and financial services and training for nonprofits.
Copyright and Fair Use – Learn about Copyright and Fair Use and how these concepts relate to your not-for-profit organization or small business. This document has been created by our Southern California affiliate.
Community Media Workshop – Online resources and guides to help Chicago-area community and civic groups get news and feature stories about their work in the news media.
Executive Service Corps – Provides volunteer consultants to advise and strengthen nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the greater Chicago area in areas of governance, management and operations, leadership development, and organizational transformation.
Arts & Business Council – Aiding Chicago nonprofit arts and culture community by enlisting business sector volunteers to provide arts organizations with assessment, training, consulting and board services that strengthen their management and marketing capacity.
Chicago Access Network Television – Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV) gives provides video training, equipment, facilities and channel time for Chicago residents and nonprofit groups.
Chicago Community Loan Fund – Provides low-cost, flexible financing and hands-on technical assistance to community development organizations for affordable housing, economic/commercial development, and community facility space.
Social Enterprise Alliance – Spreads knowledge and builds capacity regarding social enterprise, builds social enterprise communities and networks, gathers and disseminates information regarding the impact of social enterprise, and advocates and promotes supportive public policy for social enterprise.
The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University – Offers educational workshops and an annual conference for nonprofit professionals in Chicago. Topics include fundraising, human resources/staff relations, board governance/relations, volunteer management, financial management, and many more.
Representing First-Time Homebuyers – Training Session for attorneys to learn to represent first-time homebuyers from the CHA Choose to Own Program. Hosted by Illinois Legal Aid Online
- How Copyright and Fair Use concepts relate to your not-for-profit organization or small business, created by Public Counsel, a Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights California affiliate.
- Learn about CNT’s efforts to promote urban sustainability.
- The Chicago Bar Foundation offers an attorney referral service.
- The Chicago Rehab Network supports affordable housing development and policies.
- Resources for disability related concerns.
- State-wide legal resources, including FAQs and videos, covering many legal topics.
Federal Government Links
- Click the “Small Business Planner” tab for in-depth information on writing a business plan and starting a small business.
- Read about the “life-cycle” of a nonprofit organization, as well as I.R.S. guidance and updates.
- Free online workshops on maintaining tax exemption from the I.R.S.
State of Illinois Links
- A database of all registered charities in Illinois – search to see your organization’s registration status.
- Links to Filing Requirements, Registration and Annual Report Forms, Forming a Charitable Organization, etc.
- Online filing center for nonprofits and small businesses.
- Can search to see whether an organization is in good standing (up to date on all filings and fees, etc.).
City of Chicago Links
- Main website for the City of Chicago.
- Provides answers for common business questions, licensing requirements and other resources.