These documents are provided for general information only, and are not intended as a source of legal advice. Users are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney. Categories

The Unmet Legal Needs of America’s Small Business Community

  • The report was prepared in collaboration with Chris Pierce-Wright, law student at the University of Washington, under the supervision of our Chief Legal Officer Brad Caftel. The report describes the gap in meeting the need for low-cost transactional legal services, using Los Angeles and Seattle data as examples of the size of the small business community. Small businesses are an essential element to building opportunities in low- and middle-income neighborhoods, especially for historically marginalized women and minority owners. More accessible legal services for small businesses addresses a market need and serves social justice ends. The report concludes that mission-driven, low-profit law providers could play an important role in expanding this area of legal practice, bolstering local growth, and facilitating economic and social goals.
  • Download the Full Report here (0.5 MB PDF)

General Background

  • A description of the legal services offered by the Insight Center.
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  • A description of the nonprofit legal framework, including sources of federal and California law and regulations.
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  • A description of the tax benefits to a charity of a bargain sale.
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Nonprofit Corporation Formation

  • A description of the responsibilities, duties, rights, and liabilities of the Board of Directors of a nonprofit corporation.
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  • A description of legal protections against personal liability of the Board of Directors of a nonprofit corporation.
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Model Incorporation and Tax Exemption Documents for California Non-Profits

Step-by-step instructions for forming a California non-profit public benefit corporation. Example documents include: articles, bylaws, agenda and minutes for first board meeting, and IRS tax exemption forms with instructions. (updated, 2008).
  • Chapter 1 - Forming a CA Non-Profit, PDF,76KB
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  • Chapter 2 - Articles of Incorporation, PDF,18KB
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  • Chapter 3 - CA Summary of Membership Rights, PDF, 23KB
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  • Chapter 4 - CA Model Membership By-Laws, PDF, 113KB
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  • Chapter 5 - CA Model Non-Membership By-Laws, PDF, 80KB
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  • Chapter 6 - CA First Board Meeting Agenda and Minutes, PDF, 32KB
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  • Chapter 7 - Sample IRS Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Tax Exempt Status, PDF, 2,085KB
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  • Chapter 8 - Sample California Franchise Tax Board Forms 3500A and 3500, PDF, 76KB
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Governance of Nonprofit Organizations

  • Public Charity Status Simplified (a little)
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  • A description of the documents to review in ascertaining whether a nonprofit corporation has complied with its legal and operational requirements.
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  • New Reporting Requirements for Tax-Exempt Organizations. (updated on 4/22/08)
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  • The California Non-Profit Integrity Act
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  • Lobbying By Section 501(c)(3) Organizations: Legal Issues- A description of the federal income tax law restrictions on lobbying activity by charities, with additional information on grant rules and federal and California lobbying disclosure laws. Also included is a list of resource material on lobbying and political activity by charities. (Additional Link)
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  • Political Activity By Section 501(C)(3) Organizations: Federal Income Tax Law Restrictions - A description of the federal income tax law restrictions on political activity by charities.
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  • An analysis of the tax consequences of incentive payments made to families participating in financial literacy training and Individual Development Account programs.
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Nonprofit Corporation Legal Structure Alternatives

  • Tax- Exempt Status for Organizations Participating in Low Income Housing Tax Credit Limited Partnerships
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  • Limited Liability Companies as Worker Cooperatives
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  • Exemption Comparison Chart; a comparison of 501 (c) (3), 501 (c) (4), and 501 (c) (6) exemptions.
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  • Limited Liability Companies as Tax-Exempt Organizations.
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  • A description of the different legal forms for joining two nonprofit corporations.
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  • A description of the advantages and disadvantages to a nonprofit corporation of forming a for-profit subsidiary to carry out a business venture.
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  • A description of the subsidiary formation process.
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Sample Management & Administrative Service Agreement

  • Management And Administrative Services Agreement-An example of an agreement between two corporations - parent and subsidiary - for the provision of management and administrative services.
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Sample Collaboration Agreements

  • An example of a collaboration agreement among several nonprofit corporations to carry out a funded project in which one corporation serves as the lead agency.
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  • An example of a collaboration agreement among nonprofit corporations to engage in joint advocacy and fundraising.
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Fiscal Sponsorship

  • Fiscal Sponsorship
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  • An example of a fiscal sponsor agreement with an unincorporated group.
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  • An example of a fiscal sponsor agreement with a nonprofit corporation not yet tax exempt.
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Sample Memoranda of Understanding

  • An example of a memorandum of understanding between two nonprofit organizations to carry out joint training and technical assistance.
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Sample Employment Agreement

  • Employment Agreement- An example of an employment agreement with a President/Executive Director of a nonprofit corporation.
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Fee for Service Activities for Legal Service Programs

  • Fee-For-Service Activity: Tax Law And Other Considerations For Legal Services Programs- A description of tax law and other considerations for legal services programs engaged in fee-for-service activities.
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Intellectual Property

  • Trademarks for Nonprofits.
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