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

General Partnership Fact Sheet (2022)

Sole Proprietorship Fact Sheet (2022)

Small Businesses and the NEW Corporate Transparency Act: What You Need to Know (2024)

Small Business Cannabis Presentation Series Resources

Cannabis Business Entity & Tax: Choice of Entity and Taxation ~ Video (December/2023)

Cannabis Business Funding: Raising Capital & Banking ~ Video (December/2023)

Commercial Real Estate & Zoning: Finding the Spot ~ Video (December/2023)

Cannabis Business and Employment (October/2022)

Cannabis Ancillary Businesses (October/2022)

Business Entity Formation (October/2022)

Overview of Tax for Cannabis Enterprises (November/2022)

 Cannabis Business Fundraising 101 (November/2022)

Cannabis Real Estate & Zoning (NYC) (November/2022)



NELP 2021 Report: A Brief Overview

NELP 2020 Pro Bono Report

NELP 2018 Pro Bono Report

Upcoming events
NELP Small Business Webinar on the NEW Corporate Transparency Act - Wednesday, February 28th (1:00-2:00 PM)

A small business virtual legal presentation will be held over Zoom in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library’s Business and Career Center. The Corporate Transparency Act went into effect on January 1, 2024, and is an additional reporting requirement for many small businesses. Discover key insights on the Corporate Transparency Act and Beneficial Ownership reporting for small businesses!

Join us for a quick overview covering who’s impacted, filing requirements, implementation strategies, compliance tips and the challenges ahead. Every small business owner needs to know about this new reporting requirement as non-compliance can result in severe penalties. Please click here if interested in participating.



NELP Small Business Remote Legal Clinic - Thursday, February 29th (4:30-6:30 PM)

A small business virtual legal clinic will be held over Zoom in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Business Solutions Center. Registration is required. Please click here if interested in participating.

NELP M/WBE Certification Presentation - Tuesday, March 05th (2:00-3:00 PM)

A small business virtual legal presentation will be held over Zoom. The M/WBE program expands opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs to access government contracts and grow their businesses. This presentation will cover the certification process, eligibility requirements, benefits of certifying, and a quick reference guide that applicants can use as a resource to complete the M/WBE certification. Registration is required, click here to sign up.

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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