Welcome to Community Enterprise Law!

The Community Enterprise Law project shares legal tools to help support community-owned economies.  Our Community Law Library takes a broad look at laws on forming and financing community-based entities, as well as the legal issues surrounding employment, land, and housing. Our Enterprise Blog provides analysis of new laws and policies, as well as community enterprise case studies and nuggets of legal wisdom. If you are a policymaker, take a look at our City Policies page under the “Learn More” links.

This website has legal information to help start and grow your organization, but is not a substitute for legal advice. To get legal advice, talk to an attorney or visit one of our weekly legal clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What is a community-owned economy?

Traditional economic development models focus on attracting business and real estate investments from outside of a community. The unfortunate result is that wealth leaves the community, rather than remaining available for the community’s benefit.

In a community-owned economy, community members have access to ownership interests in local businesses and real estate and local workers participate in the governance and growth of the enterprises in and affecting their communities.

Through education and advocacy, the SELC Community Enterprise Law Project seeks to adapt existing laws and implement  legal policies that support people’s ownership, both on paper and in practice, in the wealth existing in their communities.