Nolo's mission is to make the legal system work for everyone—not just lawyers.
What we do: To help people handle their own everyday legal matters—or learn enough about them to make working with a lawyer a more satisfying experience—we publish reliable, plain-English books, software, forms and this website.
Some of our products have been in print almost 30 years, which is how long Nolo has been in business. Everything we publish is regularly revised, updated and improved by our staff of lawyer-editors, to make sure that it's the best it can be. We pay attention not only to changes in the law, but to feedback from customers, lawyers, judges and court staffers.
The Internet is tailor-made for delivering self-help legal information. Online, we can make useful, up-to-date legal information and products available instantly, 24 hours a day. Our site provides articles on almost any legal topic, and links to other helpful websites. People who need more help can buy a book or software program, download a short "eGuide" or electronic FormKit or fill out a single legal form online. (And unlike any lawyer we know, we provide a money-back guarantee.)
We also use our website to promote our own proposals for reforming America's legal system, and to poke a little fun at courts and lawyers. Maybe it's because we know the legal system so well—after all, almost all of our editors and authors are lawyers themselves—that we enjoy slipping in a lawyer joke here and there.
Why we do it:
Everybody knows that lawyers charge too much and explain too little about what they're doing. What many people don't know (although they may suspect it) is that in many instances, lawyers are simply unnecessary. We believe the legal system is in serious need of repairs to make it simpler, fairer and more accessible to ordinary people, and we're working toward those ends. But as long as the system is more attuned to the lawyers than the public, Nolo will keep guiding people through it. Follow on Google +
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is not a separate tax entity like a corporation; instead, it is what the IRS calls a “pass-through entity,” like a partnership or sole proprietorship. All of the profits and losses of the LLC “pass through” the business to the LLC owners (called members), who report this information on their personal... Read more »
Corporations are taxed differently than other business structures: a corporation is the only type of business that must pay its own income taxes on profits. In contrast, partnerships, sole proprietorships and limited liability companies (LLCs) are not taxed on business profits; instead, the profits “pass through” the businesses to their owners, who report business income... Read more »
For many small businesses, paying income tax means struggling to master double-entry bookkeeping and employee withholding rules while ferreting out every possible business deduction. For partnerships, paying taxes also involves understanding difficult terms like “distributive share,” “special allocation” and “substantial economic effect.” Here, we explain the basics of how partnerships are taxed. How partnership income... Read more »
As a sole proprietor you must report all business income or losses on your personal income tax return; the business itself is not taxed separately. (The IRS calls this “pass-through” taxation, because business profits pass through the business to be taxed on your personal tax return.) Here’s a brief overview of how to file and... Read more »
Advertising is regulated by both federal and state law. Under the law, your ad is unlawful if it tends to mislead or deceive. This means the government doesn’t have to prove at an administrative hearing or in court that the ad actually fooled anyone — only that it had a deceptive quality. Your intentions don’t... Read more »
Forming a nonprofit corporation is much like creating a regular corporation, except that nonprofits have to take the extra steps of applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS and their state tax division. Here is what you need to do: Obtain nonprofit materials from your state’s corporate filing office. Choose an available business name that... Read more »
If you’ve decided to create a corporation, you’re facing a list of important — but manageable — tasks. Here’s what you must do: Choose an available business name that complies with your state’s corporation rules. Appoint the initial directors of your corporation. File formal paperwork, usually called “articles of incorporation,” and pay a filing fee... Read more »
For some people, buying an existing business is a better option than starting from scratch. Why? Because someone else has done much of the legwork for you, such as establishing a customer base, hiring employees and negotiating a lease. But if you want to buy a business, you’ll need to do some thorough research to... Read more »