National Small Business Week – Library Resources For the Entrepreneur

National Small Business Week

by Eric Yap, Alameda County Law Library

This week, May 1-7, 2016, is National Small Business Week, a celebration of the achievements and contributions of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Small businesses are especially important in the East Bay.  According to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, small businesses account for 45.5% of employment in the East Bay, a higher percentage than either San Francisco or the South Bay.oak058046national

At Alameda County Law Library, we provide print and online resources that help small business owners every week of the year.  Patrons rely on these resources to get their businesses off the ground, choose the form of corporate entity that best suits their situation, understand business contracts, negotiate leases, and comply with employment laws.

Print resources for small business

Some popular small business print resources are:

Getting started:

The Small Business Start-Up Kit for California by Peri Pakroo
Call Number: KFC 84 B87 P35 2014 (Self-Help Area)
The Start-up Kit has materials on writing an effective business plan, picking and protecting the business name, getting licenses and permits, pricing and bidding on projects, creating business websites, and complying with legal and tax requirements for home businesses. The Kit also includes California legal forms.

Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business  by Fred S. Steingold
Call Number: KF 1659 .S745 2013 (Self-Help Area)
The topics covered in this title include raising startup capital; buying or selling a business or franchise; obtaining permits and licenses; negotiating the lease; hiring independent contractors; and insuring the business.

Choosing the form of business entity:

LLC or Corporation? by Anthony Mancuso
Call Number: KF 1380 .M364 2014 (Self-Help Area)
This book provides information to guide business owners on choosing the form of entity for the new business. It covers the basics of business entities; how each business entity provides protection against personal liability; profits, losses and tax issues; converting from one type of business entity to another; conducting business out of state, etc.

Form a Partnership by Denis Clifford; Ralph Warner
Call Number: KF 1375 Z9 C55 2008 (Self-Help Area)
A Nolo title that provides information on legal and practical issues involved in forming a business partnership, including financial and tax liability of partners, cash and property contributions, valuation of partnership assets, buying out a partner, admitting new partners, limited partnerships, and more.

Business forms:

Business Transactions (California Transactions Forms) by Alan Gutterman
Call Number: KF 801 .Z9 S75 2010
This collection has sample forms that can be modified for use in buying and selling a business, commercial leases, sales transactions, indemnity agreements, employment contracts, and more.

Employment law:

California Employment Law by Douglas J. Farmer
Call Number: KFC 556 .F37 2013
A single volume title that provides comprehensive coverage of employment law in California, including hiring, wage and hour, leaves of absence, terminations, discrimination and harassment, disability in the workplace, and other topics important to small businesses with employees.

Leasing issues:

Office Leasing:

Negotiating and Drafting the Lease by Margaret Adams, et al. (Continuing Education of the Bar)
Call Number: KFC 147 C6 O44 1996
This CEB guide provides information on how to negotiate and draft an office lease. It includes model clauses for letters of credit, base and additional rent, security deposit, assignment and subleasing, expanding the premises, utilities and service, repairs and maintenance, indemnification and insurance, and other topics relating to office leases.

In addition to these print resources, many small business resources are available online at the library.  CEB guides, including guides on Forming and Operating California Limited Liability Companies, Organizing Corporations in California, and Selecting and Forming Business Entities are available through the OnLaw database.  Nolo’s self-help guides can be accessed at the library or at home using our subscription to the Nolo EBSCO database.   We also provide access to legal guides and forms on a variety of business topics through WestlawNext and LexisAdvance.

If you are an entrepreneur thinking of starting a business, a business owner, or just need information on topics relating to small business, do visit Alameda County Law Library and check out our small business resources!


For more information on local events – INFO HERE

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Miranda More Than Words

Miranda ~ More Than Words

Images marking the 50th anniversary of perhaps the nation’s best-known US Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona.

Alameda County Law Library Oakland,  May 2d – June 24th, 2016

New work by East Bay artist, Jason Oberbeck, created in commemoration of the anniversary of this watershed moment in American legal history.


Miranda More than Words flyer rev 4-18-16 B

About the artist

about the artist


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Prince Died Without A Will – Don’t Be A Prince

No will

The Los Angeles Times recently published an op-ed piece entitled –  “How could someone rich and famous like Prince die without a will? It’s not unusual. Just ask an estate lawyer.”  In the piece, Jack B. Osborn, an estate attorney,  goes on to write –

Amazingly, it is not unusual for the rich and famous to die without a will. Jimi Hendrix, Pablo Picasso, Bob Marley, Howard Hughes, Sonny Bono and Abraham Lincoln all died without a will. Lincoln was the first president to die without a will even though he was an attorney.

Thinking about death, never mind what happens after you die, is hard for most people.  Mr. Osborn states that only 41% of people ages 55 to 64 have a will.  Without a will controlling the settling of an estate and distribution of the assets, the lawyer fees can take a larger share of those assets.  Mr. Osborn notes –

The American Bar Association estimates that probate proceedings cost Americans up to $2 billion per year, of which nearly $1.5 billion is paid in attorneys’ fees.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

An individual can take a number of steps to prepare for the passing of assets to the next generation.  Alameda County Law Library makes available resources to help you research the legal issues involved with drawing up a will, planning your estate, or establishing a living (revocable during one’s life) trust.

Getting started with the process –

For the non-attorney, materials from the NOLO publishing company can be most helpful –

  • 101 Law Forms for Personal Use / NOLO Editors KF 170 .L46 2013 (Self Help) – various templates depending on your personal family situation
  • The Mom’s Guide to Wills & Estate Planning / Liza Hanks KF 750 .Z9 H3273 2009 (Self Help)
  • Make Your Own Living Trust 12th ed. / Denis Clifford  KF 734  .C58 201 (Self Help) – avoiding probate, other ways to pass on property

and one of our more useful titles as it does a wonderful job of summarizing most legal procedures and issues involving death and the transfer of property

  • How to Probate an Estate in California: A Step by Step Guide 23rd ed. / Julia Nissley KFC 205  Z9 N57 2016 (Self Help)

Many of the NOLO titles are available through the ACLL website.

  • Access the Legal Databases webpage on ACLL’s website.
  • Once you are at the page, move down the screen until you see –
NOLO (EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center)

Provides more than 220 online full text legal reference books and thousands of legal forms, the majority from Nolo, the nation’s oldest provider of legal information for consumers and small businesses including: California specific books and forms, business law, property and real estate, rights and disputes and much more. These books and forms may be searched, printed and e-mailed both from within the library and outside the library. Laptop access is available to Legal Information Reference Center materials and forms in both libraries via WiFi. Please click on EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center to connect to this database from anywhere. It is also available from the public computers’ menu at the Main Library and on a public computer at the Branch Library in Hayward.

For detailed information on how to use the the NOLO database click here.

  • The here link at the end provides instructions on how to log on to the database, as well as, search for information from a particular NOLO title.

There are other resources on the internet that are helpful when tackling the issues of drafting a will.

New to California – Transfer on Death deeds

In the past, many individuals added others to the title of real property as joint tenants in an attempt to avoid formal probate court proceedings after death.  As of the beginning of the 2016, California real property owners have another simplified option for transferring real property after death – Transfer on Death deed (TOD)  See a prior post for more information and resources on this option. POST HERE

Don’t be a Prince.  Be a prince for your heirs.  Make a tough situation simpler for them and make a will.

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Out Of The Mouths Of Mothers

Out of the mouths of mothers

Doris Roberts AKA ubermom, Marie Barone
  • “Don’t make me come in there!”
  • “A puppy brings with it a great deal of responsibility.”
  • “Are you hungry, Dear?”
  • “No, no.  I’m no colder than I was at your sister’s house last week.”
  • “Stop that. Now. It would be embarrassing to explain to the Emergency Room doctors what exactly you were doing when you got hurt.”
  • “You know what I would like for Mother’s Day?  Something nice from Amazon.  You could make a donation to the Alameda County Law Library at the same time.  Do it as a favor for me.  I would be so proud.  Not that I’m not always proud of you.”

arrangement in grey and blackOK, the last one was fabricated to direct your attention to a great opportunity to do something nice for your mom and the Alameda County Law Library —  participate in AmazonSmile’s Mother’s Day program.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8.  (But you remembered that, right?)  Shop, using this link – – and Amazon will donate a percentage of the value of the purchase to Alameda County Law Library.  These funds help ACLL provide access to information required for local citizens’ participation in the legal system, resolving legal disputes, engaging in commerce, and tending to personal affairs and academic projects.

You’re busy, we know.  But it only takes a few clicks to help us labor for access to justice.  Your mother labored with you.  How long was that again?



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