Small Business Legal Assistance

The Small Business Legal Assistance program provides FREE individual counseling and legal workshops to Seattle-based businesses seeking assistance in re-establishing operations after COVID-related disruption, as well as addressing business needs in a challenging economic recovery climate. Consulting services provided under the Small Business Legal Assistance program will help small businesses implement sustainable solutions around complex legal issues associated with owning and operating a small business, as well as addressing operational strategies that include, but are not limited to:

  • individual consultation with legal professionals
  • corporate and intellectual property education
  • commercial leasing and landlord/tenant issue resources and education
  • access to business specific legal reference materials
  • special programming tailored to underrepresented business owners in the City of Seattle
  • legal clinics and resource development on issues pertaining to small business operations

For questions, translation or interpretation, technical assistance, disability accommodations, materials in alternate formats or accessibility information, please contact Michael Wells (he/him/his), Small Business Advocate, at Michael.Well@seattle.gov or (206) 724-5480.

Legal Consultants

Communities Rise logo

Communities Rise fosters movements to build power in communities impacted by systematic oppression. To create an equitable system, we pursue cross-sector collaboration, and provide capacity building and legal services for community organizations and small businesses.

Legal support tools and one on one consulting for small businesses with an emphasis on women and minority owned businesses.

Aimie Kawai
Development Director
Aimie@communities-rise.org

Seattle Public Library

Whether you have a long-established business or just beginning to plan a new business, Seattle Public Library’s resources are free to use through the Library to Business Program. Library to Business offer dozens of classes and workshops every year in partnership with local organization.

Additional library resources:

  • Legal clinics
  • Reference tools
  • One-on-one consulting for small businesses

Jay Lyman
Library to Business Supervising Librarian
Seattle Public Library
Jay.Lyman@spl.org

University of Washington Entrepreneurial Law Clinic

The University of Washington – Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) is an innovative clinic serving entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. The ELC teams law and business students with pro bono attorneys and business advisors. Together they provide critical early stage legal and business counseling to technology entrepreneurs, small business owners, social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and University of Washington and Institute for Translational Health Sciences faculty researchers.

  • Legal clinics
  • Reference tools
  • One-on-one consulting for small businesses
  • Student support, supervised through UW Law School faculty, and access to UW Law School

Jennifer S. Fan
Entrepreneurial Law Clinic Director
jsfan@uw.edu 

Any Seattle based small business owner or operator, with an emphasis on women and minority small business owners, particularly those operating in “low-income communities” as defined by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA)

What advice does the Small Business Legal Assistance program provides?

The Legal Assistance program can provide advice in the following topics:

  • Commercial leasing
  • Landlord/tenant negotiations and communications
  • Intellectual property rights
  • And more!

Questions about OED’s Legal Assistance program, please contact Michael Wells (he/him/his), Small Business Advocate, at Michael.Well@seattle.gov or (206) 724-5480.

Who is eligible for this program?

Any Seattle based small business owner or operator, with an emphasis on women and minority small business owners, particularly those operating in “low-income communities” as defined by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is committed to building an equitable and inclusive economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities.

The City of Seattle encourages everyone to participate in its programs and activities. For additional questions, translation or interpretation, technical assistance, disability accommodations, materials in alternate formats or accessibility information, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (206) 684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov.