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NW SBCD offering free legal consultation services

BEMIDJI — Beginning Tuesday, income-eligible small business owners in northwestern Minnesota will have access to free 30-minute consultations with business attorneys as part of a joint effort between the Northwest Small Business Development Center and LegalCORPS.

LegalCORPS, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization, has arranged free, statewide transactional legal assistance for small business owners and nonprofits since 2004. In addition to providing full-representation assistance to qualified small business owners and nonprofits, LegalCORPS operates six free, in-person brief-advice clinics.

LegalCORPS’ mission is to assist low-income owners of small businesses and small nonprofits, especially those that strengthen Minnesota’s low-income communities, by providing individuals and organizations with business law services they could not otherwise afford.

Through the program, volunteer attorneys will provide free legal consultations to small business owners in Minnesota via video conferencing. This will give small business owners the opportunity to ask experienced business attorneys questions about business formation, leases, employee issues and similar business law topics.

Monthly virtual clinics will be held at Headwaters Regional Development Commission in Bemidji, connecting clients with business lawyers located at the U.S. Bank headquarters in St. Paul. To participate, interested business owners must register in advance for 30-minute sessions. Registration information, along with time and schedule details, are available from the Northwest Small Business Development Center.

Should a business owner have an issue that requires more than 30 minutes to answer or resolve, and the client meets certain income-eligibility guidelines, the client can apply for full representation assistance, arranged by LegalCORPS.

To learn more, contact the Northwest Small Business Development Center, at 755-4255, or visit the website