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E-Legal Resource Center

The E-Legal Resource Center is an online collection of resources for Michigan entities seeking to learn more about basic business, intellectual property, and nonprofit legal issues. It is our goal that, with the advice and legal services the Clinic provides, Michigan small businesses and nonprofit organizations will be empowered to operate with confidence and success. In addition to our prescribed legal services, we also provide legal resources free of charge to assist Michigan businesses in becoming educated about basic business legal issues. It is our hope that by empowering these entities with free online legal resources, the Michigan economy will be empowered as well. Most of the below resources are also available in print at our Clinic office.

Small Business & Nonprofit Business Planning Guide (PDF)

guide cover

Spanish Version (PDF) Mandarin Version (PDF)

Business & Financial Planning

Resources - Business Planning
12-Step Business Planning Checklist
Buy-Sell Agreements
Checklist for Organizing a Michigan LLC
Common Legal Concerns for Small Businesses
For-Profit Funding Resources
Names for Business Entities
Small Business and Nonprofit Business Planning Guide
The Importance of Financial Planning for Small Businesses
Women's Business Assistance Contacts

Nonprofit Organizations

How Nonprofits Can Avoid Losing Tax-Exempt Status
Nonprofit Funding Resources
Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Yearly IRS Filing Requirements
Occupying Property and the Ad Valorem Tax Exemption
Small Business and Nonprofit Business Planning Guide
Tax-Exempt Name Change
The Truth About Churches & the Need to File for Tax-Exempt Status
Top 10 Legal Concerns for Nonprofits
When For-Profit Companies Create Nonprofit Entities

Intellectual Property (Trademarks, Copyright, etc.)

Copyright for Beginners
Intellectual Property Rights Critical to Success
Prioritizing Intellectual Property for Small Businesses
Trademark Registration
Trademark Search Engines
Trademark, Copyright, and Patent Issues

Licensing & Labor

403(b) Plans and ERISA Compliance
Employer Identification Number (EIN) Application Guide
Employment Taxes & Hiring Requirements
Identifying Michigan Licensing Requirements
Labor Laws
Twenty Common Law Factors Used to Determine Employment Status: Independent Contractor Versus Employee

Business Solutions for Noncitizens

Employment Taxes & Hiring Requirements
Starting a Business In the U.S. as a Foreign National
Small Business and Nonprofit Business Plannning Guide (Mandarin Version)
Taxation of U.S. Business Income for Foreign Entrepeneurs
Visa Considerations for Foreign Entrepeneurs

Green Business

Going Green
Green Standards
National, State and Local Programs and Other Initiatives
What Does It Really Mean to "Go Green"


A Review of Federal & State Privacy Laws
Pro Bono Legal Services

External Resources

Two Basic Types of U.S. Business Corporations: For-Profit and Nonprofit
Whether a Nonprofit Structure Is Right for Your Business

Intellectual Property
Distinguish Among Patents, Trademarks, Service Marks, and Copyrights
Copyright Refresher
How to File a Trademark Application
To Register or Not To Register
Filing Fees with the United States Patent & Trademark Office
Contacts at the United States Patent & Trademark Office

Small Business
Findlaw: Small Business Center
U.S. Small Business Administration

Michigan Nonprofit Association
Types of 501(c) Tax-Exempt Organizations
Types of 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
Other Tax-Exempt Organizations Besides 501(c)(3)
Section 527 Tax-Exempt Political Organizations
Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney, or call the Michigan State University Small Business & Nonprofit Legal Clinic directly at (517) 336-8088, to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Website or any of the posted links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the MSU Small Business & Nonprofit Legal Clinic and the user or browser.

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