General Business Resource Materials

Entrepreneurship Law Editorial Team


Donna-Marie Boulay & Katherine J. Pohlman, The Entrepreneur's Legal Guide: Strategies for Starting, Managing, and Making Your Business Profitable (2003).

Abstract (from Amazon Product Description): Inside you will find Networking Tip boxes that identify situations when the help of others may be beneficial. Legal Alert boxes warn when compliance with regulations is necessary. It provides information to build a framework on which a new business can succeed. It guides you through the steps necessary to plan a new venture, get it financed, find the right location and price your goods to sell. It also takes you past start-up and prepares you for the future with instruction on hiring employees, protecting your assets and planning your time for maximum economic benefit.

Lee Branstetter, Do Entry Regulations Deter Entrepreneurship and Job Creation? evidence from recent reforms in Portugal (2010).

Abstract: Recent research has suggested that the reduction of entry regulation can promote firm entry and job creation, but little is known about the quality of firms and jobs created through these reforms. To shed light on this question, we employ data from Portugal, a country which implemented one of the most dramatic and thorough policies of entry deregulation in the industrialized world. The impact of these major changes can be traced with a matched employer-employee database that provides unusually rich information on the quality of founders and employees associated with the new firms. Our assessment indicates that the short term consequences of the reform were just as one would predict with a standard economic model of entrepreneurship: The reform resulted in increased firm formation and employment, but mostly among "marginal firms" that would have been most readily deterred by existing heavy entry regulations. These marginal firms were typically small, owned by relatively poorly-educated entrepreneurs, operating in the low-tech sector (agriculture, construction, and retail trade). These firms were also less likely to survive their first two years than comparable firms that entered prior to the reform. The social impact of entry deregulation may be limited by the quality of the firms it creates.


Product Description (from Amazon):  Incorporating your business can provide numerous legal and financial advantages--it also has long-term ramifications on how you manage and structure your organization.

Colleen Chien, Startups and Patent Trolls, 17 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 461 (2014).

Abstract (adapted from author): The impact of Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) on startups is crucial, because startups contribute to job creation and innovation, making them potential targets of patent demands. To assess the impact of trolls on startups, the author analyzed a comprehensive database of patent litigations from 2006 to the present, conducted a non-random survey of 223 tech company startups, 79 of which had received a demand, and interviewed nearly 20 entities with relevant knowledge of startup patent issues. The author finds that although large companies tend to dominate patent headlines, most unique defendants to troll suits are small.

What can be done to decrease the harms of patent assertion and increase the benefits of a robust patent market to small companies and startups? Focusing on this question, the article presents new data suggesting that a number of the reforms put in place over the last year, including by the America Invents Act, are having a positive impact.

Increasing the cost of software patents would limit the number of patents but would also disadvantage startups that patent, relative to large companies and PAEs with large budgets. The distributional impacts of reforms need to be kept in mind, and this article suggests some alternative reforms for the consideration of the courts, Congress, and the market.

Entrepreneurship, Finance, Governance & Ethics (Robert Cressy et al. eds. 2013).

Abstract (from publisher): This book spans topics at the intersection of business ethics and governance as they pertain to entrepreneurship and finance. To the Editors’ knowledge it is the first collection of papers linking entrepreneurship and finance to governance and business ethics, rather than exploring these issues separately. The chapters identify empirically the strong interplay between ethics in organizational efficiency and financial activity, and the role of legal settings and governance in facilitating better ethical standards. The chapters explore novel and timely topics, particularly in the context of the recent financial crisis and the subsequent debate over regulating unethical behavior. This book finally encourages future scholars to investigate the role of law and governance in mitigating corruption and fostering integrity in the fields of entrepreneurship and finance.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Evolving Economies: The Role of Law (Megan M. Carpenter ed., 2012).

Abstract (from publisher): The very foundation of the economy is changing. Across the United States, primary and secondary sector industries are no longer as viable as they once were - because the particular businesses are no longer profitable, because the underlying resources are no longer as plentiful or desirable, or because human activity is not essential to various aspects of an industry's operations. As economies evolve from traditional industrial resources, such as mining and manufacturing, to 'new' resources, such as information and content, innovation and entrepreneurship are key. Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Evolving Economies examines the role of law in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in communities whose economies are in transition. It contains a collection of works from different perspectives and tackles tough questions regarding policy and practice, including how support for entrepreneurship can be translated into policy. Additionally, this collection addresses more concrete questions of practical efficacy, including measures of how successful or unsuccessful legal efforts to incentivize entrepreneurship may be, through intellectual property law and otherwise, and what might define success to begin with. 

Michael R. Laisne, Space Entrepreneurs: Business Strategy, Risk, Law, and Policy in the Final Frontier, 46 J. Marshall L. Rev. 1039 (2013).

Abstract (adapted from author): Human civilization is on the brink of exploring another frontier. As usual, the super power governments of the world have played a major role in the initial stages. Now, as was the case when brave settlers came to colonize the West, and railroads and financial empires were built, society must rely on the private sector to take civilization to the final frontier. This article will give an overview of the current laws and policies relevant to space entrepreneurship. The article explores the road to becoming a space entrepreneur including, a description of startup risks , an overview of space startup funding, and a brief summary of business entity options. Then, the Article makes the case for the economic development of space and presents critical legal and policy suggestions to help promote the private space industry.


Abstract:  There are many routes to a successful business. This guide helps entrepreneurs choose between starting from scratch, buying an established business or buying into a franchise.


Abstract:  Conventional negotiating strategy often requires adversarial positions, but the authors propose viewing negotiating as a problem-solving task. They explain that creating value is the key to successful negotiating. The goal should not be to win the biggest piece of the pie but to make the pie bigger.  The authors show how negotiation requires balancing three sets of tensions: those between winning and "making the pie bigger," between empathy and assertiveness, and between principals and agents. They suggest that lawyers are uniquely positioned to create value when resolving disputes and making deals. A major portion of the book is devoted to illustrating concrete problem-solving techniques, and the authors conclude with a consideration of the professional and ethical dilemmas posed by legal negotiation.

Ekaterina Mouratova, Business Law for Entrepreneurs: A Legal Guide to Doing Business in the United States (2013).

Abstract (from publisher): This book is an essential resource for everyone involved in business transactions and operations. It is a useful assistant to entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and other professionals. Business law governs all commercial activities, and business people deal with it on a daily basis, even when they do not realize it. Entrepreneurs and managers should be familiar with the applicable statutes and regulations in order to make calculated decisions rather than uneducated guesses and costly mistakes. Business Law for Entrepreneurs was written to serve as a reference guide during the start-up stage of the business as well as during the further functioning of the company. The book covers a broad range of subjects that are applicable to various industries. Readers can refer to specific chapters when and if a need for particular information arises during their business operations. The book provides necessary information, explanations, examples, and practical solutions. It does not overwhelm with jargon, legalese, or extremely technical details.

Henry R. Nothhaft & David Kline, Great Again: Revitalizing America's Entrepreneurial Leadership (2011).

Abstract (adapted from publisher): In "Great Again", serial entrepreneur Hank Nothhaft takes the reader inside the heart of the communities most responsible for innovation and shows how a few practical reforms can get America's economy moving again. This book is a call to action for: (1) Removing regulatory shackles from start-ups, (2) Fixing the patent office to incentivize innovation, (3) Creating smarter government support of basic science and research, (4) Offering meaningful incentives to rebuild our manufacturing sector, and (5) Easing immigration rules to turn America's brain drain into a brain gain. Filled with evocative stories and examples, "Great Again" presents an action plan for entrepreneurs and policymakers.


Abstract (from product description at  This guide addresses the common pitfalls and answers every question an entrepreneur might have about self-employment. It deals with the full range of issues that need to be considered, including: business planning, raising finance, tax and legal issues, keeping accounts, and planning for growth. Including useful contact addresses and websites.


Abstract: This book provides you a pathway to launching a new, small business successfully.The edition provides information on the right way to launch and mange a small business with the staying power to succeed and grow. This book is for the new venture entrepreneur who wants to explore the possibilities, the challenges, and the rewards of owing a business.

Sue Wang, 22 Legal Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make: A Guide for Start-Ups, Small Businesses, & Tech Entrepreneurs (2012).

Abstract (from publisher): Don't let legal mistakes hurt your bottom line. Written in plain English, this 135-page book covers real-life examples, practical tips, and actionable advice for businesses of all sizes. Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes that smart businesspeople make, including: Practical tips on accepting family investments safely; Smart ways to pay people with equity; Two common phrases your privacy policy should never include; How to read a confidentiality agreement; a no-fuss method of keeping strong corporate records; three sneaky scams to watch out for; good questions to ask when hiring an attorney.

Jeffrey Weber, From Idea to Exit: The Entrepreneurial Journey (2011).

Abstract: This book examines the life-cycle of an entrepreneurial endeavor, from idea to exit. The author gives exit strategies as much treatment as the beginning stages of a business, pointing out that everything builds towards a final goal. This type of book would interest people who consider themselves serial entrepreneurs, versus those who are looking to build a run a company to maturity.

Thomas Zimmerer & Norman M. Scarborough, ESSENTIALS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP & SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (3d ed. 2002).


Catherine A. Brown, Carmen H. Colborne & W. Edward McMullan, Legal Issues in New Venture Development, 3 J. Bus. Venturing 273-287 (1988).

Abstract:   Describes the results of a survey of early stage entrepreneurs who attended a New Venture Student Clinic to seek legal information and assistance for their ventures. Role that law may play in planning for business start-ups; Identification of relevant legal issues; Frequency in clients' altering or changing their business strategy as a result of new information received.

Hugh Calkins, The Case for a Legal Risk Strategy, 10 J. Bus. Strategy 42-46 (1989).

Abstract: Discusses the significance of corporate lawyers in strategic planning to prevent firms in any types of litigations in the U.S. Knowledge in federal law and procedures related to the construction of facilities; Concern for the legal problems faced by companies; Capability to handle law-based problems.

Tanya M. Marcum & Eden S. Blair, Entrepreneurial Decisions and Legal Issues in Early Venture Stages: Advice that Shouldn’t Be Ignored, 54 Bus. Horizons 153 (2011). 

Abstract: Entrepreneurs make numerous business decisions each day, many of which have significant legal implications. Due to a lack of time and knowledge, however, these entrepreneurs too often make quick decisions regarding important matters—both current and future—based on a few primary factors, one of which is cost. Entrepreneurs appear to make decisions based on concrete, but frequently inappropriate, factors such as comparison of bottom-line dollar value or relatively small fees; in this scenario, short-term decisions are made that do not take into account intricate legal and strategic implications which may arise down the road. As such, we would suggest a different approach whereby entrepreneurs take the time to learn about and understand the implications of these decisions on long-term sustainability, liability protection, and growth potential. Herein, we discuss how using cost to compare and make decisions has an impact on three issues with legal implications that occur early in the start-up process, and which pose major implications for the entrepreneur if he or she does not deal with them properly. Toward this end, we propose some solutions to help prevent this from happening.

Online Resources

Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, Publications.

Other Materials

Stephanie Gleason & Rachel Feintzeig, At Startups, Pink Slips Come Early and Often, Wall St. J., Dec. 13, 2013, at B1.

Amol Sharma, Flawed Miracle: Bribes, Bureaucracy Hobble India's New Entrepreneurs, Wall St. J., Nov. 1, 2011, at A1.

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