Social Enterprises & Social Entrepreneurship

Social enterprises and social entrepreneurs are breaking down the old distinction between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, bringing together the passion and drive to “do good,“ which is rooted in the charitable sector, with the discipline of business and the power of the marketplace emanating from for-profit business models. 

Legal structures are still evolving to address the needs of these organizations, but Lathrop GPM brings a deep understanding of nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations together with business acumen and agility from serving entrepreneurial businesses - necessary skills to serve this dynamic and growing sector.

Lathrop GPM’s Social Enterprises & Social Entrepreneurship group brings together attorneys from our Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations and Entrepreneurial Services teams to provide the full spectrum of legal counseling needed to serve these organizations. We know that providing creative and cost-effective service is crucial, and collaborate to bring the best of both to clients in this sector. Our services include:

  • Creating the best legal structure for the enterprise, whether nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, LLC, business corporation, L3C, benefit corp, taxable nonprofit, or a combination of multiple entities
  • Advising on unrelated business income tax considerations
  • Educating boards of directors on governance best practices in the social enterprise context
  • Preparing contracts that address both mission and business objectives
  • Protecting and leveraging intellectual property through licensing and distribution arrangements
  • Social franchising
  • Obtaining funding and financing, including program related investments
  • Establishing employment and consulting agreements
  • Creating stock option and executive compensation plans
  • Complying with state and federal securities laws
  • Structuring strategic alliances and joint ventures
  • Pursuing mergers and acquisitions

We speak regularly on social enterprise and social entrepreneurial topics, including at the Social Enterprise Alliance National Summit and the UST Social Entrepreneurship Symposium. We are proud to be a founding member of the Social Enterprise Alliance Twin Cities Chapter.

Speaking Engagements