Community Enterprise Legal Design

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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: 

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.”  

Each Module begins with worksheets and canvases you can use to track your understanding of the materials that follow. The resources are divided into Introductory Materials; Materials produced by our firm; and Further and Advanced Materials. We recommend that you focus more attention on the Introductory and JWPC Materials and dive deeper in to the Advanced and Further Materials if you have time and interest. We wish you luck as you develop your business plan, and look forward to talking with you once you have the deliverables described above.