Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project


The City Bar Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) provides free legal support to microentrepreneurs of limited economic means who seek to achieve financial stability through entrepreneurship. By providing free legal services to communities that have been traditionally disenfranchised, we help NELP clients achieve financial independence and break the cycle of poverty created by systemic inequality, while bringing jobs and services to the communities where they live and work.

NELP’s volunteer attorneys provide assistance through legal presentations, legal clinics and direct pro bono representation. They assist entrepreneurs with issues such as entity formation, contracts & agreements, commercial lease reviews & negotiations, and intellectual property protections.

To date, NELP has partnered with more than 100 law firms, 25 corporate legal departments, and 30 community-based organizations to assist more than 18,000 clients through the provision of brief services, direct representation, legal clinics, and community presentations.

Akira Arroyo directs the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and Liam Broderick is the project coordinator.

To get help from the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, call 212.382.6633 or email

NELP Services

Small Business Legal Clinics – NELP’s legal clinics provide microentrepreneurs with the opportunity to speak one-on-one with an attorney regarding their small business legal issues. Frequently discussed topics include: business structure, incorporation, contracts and agreements, commercial leasing, and intellectual property protection. In order to attend, you must register in advance.

Presentations – NELP’s volunteer attorneys give presentations on small business legal issues at local community development organizations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Direct Pro Bono Representation – to get additional assistance from NELP, call 212.382.6633 or email

To see all upcoming NELP events , view this page.

Not sure if this is the right project? Contact our free Legal Hotline at 212-626-7383.

General Resources

Business Plan Template (2020)

Choosing a Business Name (2022)

How to Obtain a Copy of Your Credit Report

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project Brochure

Piercing the Corporate Veil: What It Means and How You Can Protect Your Small Business (2022)

Piercing the Corporate Veil Video

Corporation Formation Fact Sheet (2022)

General Partnership Fact Sheet (2022)

Limited Partnership Formation Fact Sheet (2022)

LLC Formation Fact Sheet (2022)

LLP Formation Fact Sheet (2022)

PC Formation Fact Sheet (2022)

PLLC Formation Fact Sheet (2022)

Sole Proprietorship Fact Sheet (2022)

Small Business Cannabis Presentation Series Resources

Week 1 Cannabis Business and Employment

Week 2 Cannabis Ancillary Businesses

Week 3 Business Entity Formation

Week 4 Overview of Tax for Cannabis Enterprises

Week 5 Cannabis Business Fundraising 101

Week 6 Cannabis Real Estate & Zoning (NYC)

COVID-19 Small Business Resources


From Pandemic to Prosperity: Innovating and Adapting as a Small Business – Watch video

Small Business Bankruptcy Webinar – Watch video / Download presentation slides

Commercial Lease Considerations During COVID-19 – Watch video


Recovery Guide: Resources and Aid for Small Businesses (Download)

Small Business Contracts Issues (Download ENG) / Problemas Relacionados con Contratos de Empresas Pequeñas (Download SPA)

Small Business Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (Download)

Small Business Insurance Claims for Protest-Related Damages Information Sheet (Download)

Tax Aspects of Small Business Assistance Programs (Download)


NELP 2021 Report: A Brief Overview

NELP 2020 Pro Bono Report

NELP 2018 Pro Bono Report

NELP Client Spotlight

To learn more about Coqui the Chef: How a Puerto-Rican Entrepreneur Learned to Adapt and Thrive During the Pandemic and other NELP clients click here.

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