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  • WealthWorks Value Chain Business Law Guide: A WealthWorks Guide for Coordinators and Coaches

WealthWorks Value Chain Business Law Guide: A WealthWorks Guide for Coordinators and Coaches

Tags: Business Development, Community Economic Development, Tool Development, Value Chains, Wealth Creation

Client Name: Ford Foundation

Location: North Carolina, Vermont, Online

Resource Type: Tools

Author Org: Wake Forest University, Yellow Wood Associates

Author: Steve Virgil, Jon Mayhugh, Shanna Ratner

Year: 2015

This guide is one of two pieces written to assist WealthWorks value chain coordinators or coaches in working with businesses and demand partners that are part of WealthWorks value chains. This guide is written to assist WealthWorks coordinators, coaches, and participants in anticipating common legal and business issues they are likely to encounter at some point in the development of a value chain. These are a few of the basic issues that will very likely come up at some point in the development of the value chain:

  1. What is a contract, and how do I know when we need a written one?
  2. What can we do to mitigate my business risks?
  3. How will we know when we need to formalize a business structure, and once we make that decision, how will we know which option is right for any given business in the value chain? (This question is addressed in greater detail in the Formalizing Your Business Guide.)
  4. How can we protect the intellectual property developed by our value chain or the businesses within it?

It should be noted that there is not one single correct answer to any of these questions, and in the event that the decision is not clear it is always a good idea to consult an attorney. This guide, however, should give coordinators and/or coaches a good overview of certain legal concepts and general guidance through typical legal situations that present themselves to most people operating in a business context.

The other guide is called Formalizing Your Business and provides basic information on the variety of legal forms a business can take and the pros and cons of each. Taken together, these guides provide basic information on some of the common legal issues related to the business of value chain construction and operations. Neither guide should be viewed as a substitute for legal advice.

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