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Nonprofits & Small Businesses

VIP offers free legal help to eligible nonprofits and small businesses.

The Community We Serve

Too often, our city’s nonprofits and small businesses face a difficult choice. When dealing with hefty payroll costs or restrictive program budgets, they must choose between using their limited resources to hire an attorney or navigating legal problems without help and risking liability.

VIP’s Community Economic Development Initiative resolves this dilemma by matching nonprofits and small business with volunteer attorneys who provide free legal help. Apply below for help forming and maintaining a sustainable organization.

Our Service Models

Philadelphia VIP offers free legal assistance to nonprofits and small businesses through two different service models.

Full Representation

Nonprofits and small businesses seeking help with a specific legal need can apply to VIP for full, no-cost representation by a volunteer attorney. Common issues handled by our volunteers include incorporation, tax-exempt status, contract drafting, trademark filing, policy revision, zoning permits, and more.

Note: VIP volunteers do not handle cases in which a a business’s owners or a nonprofit’s Board of Directors is in dispute; leadership of the organization must be in agreement about the legal need being pursued. VIP volunteers also do not handle nonprofit or small business matters involving litigation, short deadlines, or non-specific legal needs/general legal counseling.

One-Time Consultations

In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, VIP has suspended our in-person Legal Assessment Clinics, normally held six times per year.

In their place, we now offer Philadelphia’s nonprofits and small businesses free one-hour virtual consultations with a volunteer attorney, which provide a personalized assessment focusing on the client’s most critical legal needs. After the consultation, eligible nonprofits and small businesses may receive ongoing legal assistance with the legal need(s) identified and discussed in the conversation.

 

Nonprofit & Small Business Newsletter

Stay connected, access resources, and learn about upcoming events that may help your nonprofit or small business thrive. Sign up for VIP’s bimonthly newsletter.