I've blogged about licensing laws that can pose significant barriers to entrepreneurship. But licensing laws are just one example of the jungles of legal red tape that entrepreneurs have to bushwhack through in order to get their businesses going. A lack of knowledge about these laws might be enough to deter many potential entrepreneurs. How many have been deterred—and the resulting cost to our economy—is hard to say.
I just found out that the Institute for Justice, which I mentioned as an organization that has successfully defended entrepreneurs against anticompetitive licensing laws, has resources that go beyond litigation to help with red tape. In the Chicago metro area, the Institute for Justice has set up the IJ Clinic, which assists clients—many of whom are low-income, inner-city small businesses—with figuring out "the legal intricacies" that come with being an entrepreneur.
The clinic has some inspiring success stories, like one Chicago café that had difficulties jumping through the hoops of obtaining a building permit. With the clinic's help, it was able to figure out the process and is now thriving.
1. What resources like the IJ Clinic exist elsewhere? Please share what you know with other readers in the comments section below.
2. Why is the process of starting a business so complicated that something like the IJ Clinic even needs to exist? Entrepreneurs who can't take advantage of that legal advice have to do it by themselves. It's difficult enough to succeed as an entrepreneur. Having to be a lawyer, too, seems like an unnecessary burden.