The Legal Food Hub was launched to help farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food-oriented organizations access free legal assistance. We can help with legal issues such as land acquisition/transfer, estate issues, taxes, contracts, and corporate formation, among others. Our goal is to help grow a local, sustainable food system. Through the Legal Food Hub, CLF connects eligible applicants with skilled attorneys willing to provide their legal services for free.
Here’s how we can help:
- Check our eligibility guidelines to see if you qualify for free legal help. (We are currently serving businesses in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont.)
- Call our intake hotline or fill out our online form.
After we have assessed your case for eligibility, we’ll reach out to our attorney network and match your case with a skilled lawyer who will provide free legal services. We conduct routine check-ins with both attorneys and participants to ensure that the representation is going well.
*You may be responsible for associated costs, such as filing fees, photocopying, postage, travel expenses, and consulting experts or third-party professionals whom you previously authorize the firm to hire and who do not agree to work on a pro bono basis.
Additional examples of legal matters:
- Drafting contracts, including an animal purchase agreement and a membership agreement for a food co-op
- Drafting and filing articles of incorporation for corporations and co-operatives
- Drafting an equity investment or joint venture agreement between business owner and potential investors for start-up funding needs
- Complying with securities laws for new business’s direct public offering (DPO)
- Filing application to obtain 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Completing a successful merger and acquisition transaction between two small food businesses
- Navigating employment law and fiduciary duties with regard to responsibilities of nonprofit Board of Directors
- Applying for a patent for a food recipe
- Establishing a trademark for a small food business’s name and logo
- Any litigation stemming from a transactional legal issue
- Carrying out successful real estate transactions to purchase or lease land
- Negotiating a commercial real estate lease
- Complying with or enrolling in the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Program (APR)
- Complying with conservation easements