Welcome to our first online course, Community Enterprise Legal Design. This self-directed course has videos, articles, worksheets, and activities designed to help you develop your business plan and organizational canvas before engaging us. Every month, we field many inquiries from promising startups that are interested in shared governance and broad-based ownership structures, but are not ready to work with a lawyer yet. We have developed these free resources to help you self-educate and refine the concept with your founding team as much as possible before engaging our services. Consider this legal design service a necessary prerequisite for working with a cooperative law attorney or a legal entity designer.
We will cover a variety of design considerations for cooperatives as well as other multi-stakeholder and community-oriented ownership models, such as cooperative corporations, limited cooperative associations, limited liability companies, public benefit corporations, non-profit corporations, and associations.
Before reaching out to our attorneys, you should have the following prepared:
- A basic understanding of co-ops and other entity types under US states’ corporate or organizational law;
- A written business plan and revenue model;
- A written roadmap with short, medium, and long-term goals, with concrete milestones; and
- Written summaries and scenarios that explain stakeholder behavior in your stakeholder-centered business.
The materials in this course are designed to help you achieve these milestones so that JWPC can effectively and efficiently support your progress. The goal is to guide you in creating the canvas for an entity that is “implementation ready.”