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 Deborah Pantaleon 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

NELP Business Plan Template (2020)

Choosing a Business Name (2018)

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project Brochure

Corporation Formation Fact Sheet

General Partnership Fact Sheet

Limited Partnership Formation Fact Sheet

LLC Formation Fact Sheet

LLP Formation Fact Sheet

PC Formation Fact Sheet

PLLC Formation Fact Sheet

Sole Proprietorship Fact Sheet

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 / Download presentation slides / Transcript


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

Dealing With the Financial Impact of the Coronavirus in NYC (Download ENG) / Manejo del Impacto Financiero del Coronavirus en la Ciudad de NY (Download SPA)

Labor & Employment Fact Sheet (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

Upcoming events
NELP Small Business Remote Legal Clinic - Thursday, May 26th (4:30pm - 6:30pm )

The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP), in partnership with the Pace University Small Business Development Center, is hosting a virtual legal clinic for micro-entrepreneurs. It’s an opportunity to receive FREE legal advice on business-related matters from volunteer attorneys during a 45-minute consultation. Registration is required. To register, click here.

Click here to view a complete list
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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