For Participants

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

Read about some of the farmers and food businesses we’ve helped >>

Check out profiles of pro bono attorneys in our network >>


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

Intellectual Property

  • 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

Real Estate

  • 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

Additional Resources: