Legal Services for Entrepreneurs
(415) 543-9444 x217
Thank you for contacting the Economic Justice team’s Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program.
If you are in need of legal services, please scroll further down this page to fill the LSE Pro Bono/Free Attorney Application below.
If you are a business who is a commercial tenant in the Greater Bay Area, and have received a three-day notice or summons and complaint in an unlawful detainer eviction lawsuit, please read up on your legal rights as a commercial tenant facing eviction at this link, with some suggestions of possible resources: https://lccrsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Know-Your-Rights-Printout.docx
If you have a pressing legal need besides an impending commercial eviction lawsuit, and do not want to wait for our LSE team to review your application, please look up your local bar association’s attorney referral program to find a sliding scale attorney.
- The Alameda County Bar Association is providing limited virtual pro bono services. Please call the Alameda County Bar Association intake line for screening: (510) 302-2222 option #4 or submit an online request here.
- You may be able to receive representation or referrals through the San Francisco Lawyer Referral Service, you can call (415) 989-1616 (hours 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST) or fill out their online request form to receive assistance here.
- The Contra Costa County Bar Association Find a Lawyer service can be reached via phone at (925) 825-5700 or by completing their online form here.
- The Santa Clara County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service can be reached by calling (669) 302-7803 or online here.
- For resident of San Mateo, the San Mateo County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service Program is available by calling (650) 369-4149.
Other resources to explore for free or low-cost legal assistance:
- Berkeley Law’s New Business Community Law Clinic offers free legal office hours for eligible entrepreneurs in the East Bay throughout the month. You can see all the dates and locations and register for an appointment here to meet with an attorney.
- If you are sued as an Alameda County resident, Alameda County Superior Court Self-Help Center offers phone and video consultations as well as a live chat feature to answer questions about your case: Visit their website or call 510-272-1393 for more info.
- Another legal services organization, Elevate Community Center, provides free legal services to eligible clients for a variety of legal issues. Their application form can be accessed by filling out this form here.
- You may also receive low-cost representation through the Bay Area Legal Incubator. Visit this link to request legal assistance.
How to Apply for Free Legal Services
Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) provides free legal services to low-income individuals who want to start or develop businesses; businesses committed to investing in economically distressed communities, including hiring people with arrest and conviction records; and mom and pop shops located in areas where gentrification is a force for displacement.
Need business law advice? We can help!
We serve Bay Area clients that are:
- Low-income individuals
- Located in low-income communities; and/or
- Located in communities of color and have a commitment to hiring from the community
We provide free legal consultations on:
- Liability issues
- Terms of a commercial lease
- Business contracts
- Employment law
- Intellectual property
- Other business concerns
Please note: We do not provide legal consultation on tax, litigation, or bankruptcy concerns.
You’ll need to complete an online application form. Once the application form is submitted, LCCRSF staff will contact you to schedule a 30-minute call to listen to your situation and match you with the right attorney and resources.
LSE Pro-Bono/Free Attorney Application
Workshops & webinars
Topics address a range of legal issues entrepreneurs face while starting or growing a business, including business entity formation, hiring 101, commercial leasing basics, and intellectual property laws. Check our Events Calendar for a schedule of upcoming workshops.
Lawyers’ Committee works in collaboration with a variety of legal service and community organizations throughout the Bay Area. Below is a list of other organizations that may be able to help you.
- Alameda County Small Business Development Center offers classes, consulting services and business planning resources for small businesses throughout Alameda County.
- AnewAmerica serves primarily low-income individuals (new citizens, immigrants, and refugees) residing in the Bay Area. It offers a comprehensive three-year program of support for new start-up entrepreneurs including microbusiness incubation, asset building, and social responsibility.
- BusinessAdvising.org matches small business owners with volunteer business advisors who provide tailored, hands-on assistance to help small businesses grow and create economic opportunities across the nation.
- Contra Costa Small Business Development Center assists small business owners in Contra Costa County with: Operations/Financial Management, Business Loans, Government Contracting/Procurement, Exporting Assistance and more.
- La Cocina supports low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. Their focus is primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities.
- Mission Asset Fund believes in creating pathways out of the financial shadows. They help house cleaners and restaurant owners across the U.S. save money with better credit and less debt.
- Mission Economic Development Agency provides business technical assistance, loan packaging, and advocacy targeted at minority- and women-owned businesses in the Mission District of San Francisco.
- Oakland Business Assistance Center provides information on licenses, permits, and zoning in Oakland.
- Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center provides small business training and support services to emerging and established entrepreneurs in San Francisco, Marin, Richmond, and the Mid Peninsula.
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) provides business mentorship counseling and specialized assistance for free.
- Small Business Administration is a federal agency that provides education and services to small businesses and small-business owners across the nation.
- TMC Development Working Solutions provides underserved micro-entrepreneurs with the access to capital and resources they need to successfully start or grow viable businesses. TMC Development Working Solution strives to support microenterprise development in an effort to strengthen the local economy, create jobs, and build strong communities.
- Unlawful Detainer Guide for Small Business (Alameda County)
- Unlawful Detainer Guide for Small Business (San Francisco County)
LCCRSF does our very best to serve your legal needs. However, if you were unsatisfied our services, you may file a formal complaint. You will not be denied services or have any other adverse action taken against you based on your complaints. View our Client Grievance Procedure here.
December 14 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm