TLP Legal Alerts

Small Business Resources

Nonprofit Resources

Homeownership Resources

General Resources 


TLP Legal Alerts

Organizations with 403(b) Retirement Plans Must File Annual Returns (IRS Form 5500)

Beware, Overtime Rules are Changing!

Should Your Meetings and Records Be Open To The Public?

Chicago Ordinance Requiring Paid Sick Leave

I-9 Overview for Employers

Special Zoning in the City of Chicago

Unemployment Benefits for Nonprofit Employees

Don’t Lose It Before You Get It: A Guide to Filing Requirements Before 501(c)(3) Recognition

Employment Issues for Nonprofits in Financial Distress

Guide to Acknowledging Donations

Can We Use It? Using Photos of Others in Your Promotional Materials 

Are You Ready to Hire Your First Employee?

The City of Chicago’s Nonprofit Lobbying Guide

Political Activity of Nonprofits

Unrelated Business Income Tax (For Nonprofits)

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Issues 

New Rule Affects Small Nonprofit Organizations (regarding written notice to employees about Unemployment Insurance)

Director Conflict of Interest 

General Financial Policies

Fiduciary Duties of Nonprofit Directors 


Small Business Resources


Where should I incorporate my small business or form my LLC?

Changing the name of your Illinois Business

A Guide to Starting Your Business

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.

External Links

The Law Project often works alongside other organizations to provide support for small businesses.  The organizations listed below provide useful resources.

Duman Microenterprise Center and Loan Fund

  • 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

  • ACCION Chicago is a small business lender, dedicated to providing financing and business education to small businesses.

Womens Business Development Center

  • WBDC delivers business services and financial assistance to empower women towards entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency.

SCORE Chicago

  • SCORE serves small businesses by providing free business counseling, management consulting, and low cost workshops.

City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection

  • Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs provides resources and information for businesses operating in the city.

Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

  • The Illinois Small Business Development Center provides Management Assistance, one on one Counseling and specialized training workshops, to new and emerging businesses.

Knapp Entrepreneurship Center

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.


Nonprofit Resources 

External Links

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.


Homeownership Resources 


Property Tax Brochure


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



General Resources

Copyright and Fair Use

  • 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.
Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Learn about CNT’s efforts to promote urban sustainability.

Chicago Bar Foundation

  • The Chicago Bar Foundation offers an attorney referral service.

Chicago Rehab Network

  • The Chicago Rehab Network supports affordable housing development and policies.

Equip for Equality

  • Resources for disability related concerns.

Illinois Legal Aid Online

  • State-wide legal resources, including FAQs and videos, covering many legal topics.

Federal Government Links

Small Business Administration

  • Click the “Small Business Planner” tab for in-depth information on writing a business plan and starting a small business.

I.R.S., Tax Information for Charities and Other Nonprofits

  • Read about the “life-cycle” of a nonprofit organization, as well as I.R.S. guidance and updates.

Tax Basics for Exempt Organizations

  • Free online workshops on maintaining tax exemption from the I.R.S.

State of Illinois Links

Illinois Attorney General, Building Better Charities

  • 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.

Illinois Secretary of State, Business Services

  • 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

City of Chicago

  • Main website for the City of Chicago.

City of Chicago, Biz Connection

  • Provides answers for common business questions, licensing requirements and other resources.

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