Legal Resources: Business Law Links

Internet Resources for California Businesses


A. Government Sites—Federal

Americans with Disabilities Act    

Information and technical assistance on the ADA by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System   

Home page with informational links about the "Fed," monetary policy, banking regulation, economic data, and other topics.

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce    

Federal agency that administers the U.S. export control and treaty compliance system, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).    

Home page, operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, with links to legal and regulatory information, and plain-English guides for starting a business, handling finances, managing employees, and other topics.

CIA, The World Factbook   

U.S. government profiles of countries and territories around the world.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)    

EEOC site with basic introduction to employers' rights and responsibilities under the federal equal employment opportunity laws.

Federal agencies (through Library of Congress site)    

A Library of Congress resource page with links to most federal agencies.

Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC)    

Part of the U.S. General Services Administration, the FCIC's Small Business Links offer information for persons planning or owning small businesses, including information on procurement, taxes, woman- and minority-owned businesses, human resources, and financial and legal issues.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)    

Home page with links to statistical data, pertinent regulations, and FAQs.

Federal Register   

Main page, with search functions, for the Federal Register—the official daily publication for federal agency rules, proposed rules, and notices as well as executive orders. Specific Federal Register pages can be retrieved at   

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco    

Home page. The current FRBSF discount rate, used to determine the usury ceiling in California, is posted at   

Federal Trade Commission     

Home page for businesses, with links to business publications, advertising guidance, fair packaging and labeling, antitrust law guide, and other topics. Information concerning the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification requirements is at   

The official web portal of the U.S. government, with links to information on contracting with the U.S. government, export licenses, business financial assistance, and many other topics.

Internal Revenue Service    

Home page; access to downloadable IRS forms and publications.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)    

Home page.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)    

Home page with links to reports and other resources for banking industry professionals, as well as public information about the national banking system.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)    

Home page with statutory, regulatory, and compliance information regarding nondiscrimination requirements for federal contractors.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative    

Home page.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)    

Home page with links to information for small businesses; online access to proposed and final rules, SEC releases, policy statements, and other commission notices and information; searchable database of all electronic company filings since 1994.

SEC Edgar    

SEC Edgar main page, with access to electronic filings and forms.

Small Business Administration    

Home page with extensive links to federal and other resources for small businesses.

Social Security Administration    

Home page. SSA forms are available online at


Website of the Library of Congress providing federal legislative information.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services    

Home page with links to immigration laws and forms.

U.S. Copyright Office    

Home page with links to copyright registration and other information. The agency's new Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) is at    

U.S. Department of Commerce     

Home page.

U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division    

Link to Antitrust Division Guidelines and Policy Statements.

U.S. Department of Labor    

Home page with links to statutory and regulatory information, labor statistics, small-business regulatory-compliance assistance, and other information.

U.S. Department of Labor, Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)    

Dictionary of job titles and standardized job descriptions; useful for job placement, occupational research, career guidance, labor-market information, curriculum development, and long-range job planning. Last updated in 1991, the DOT has now been replaced by O*NET Online,

U.S. Department of State    

Home page with links to international commercial laws and guides.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency    

Home page.

U.S. Government Printing Office    

Home page with links to products and services, including online searchable copies of the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations.

U.S. International Trade Commission    

Home page with rules, regulations, reports, and other information, including an extensive list of links to international trade resources.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office    

Home page with downloadable forms and information on patent applications and trademark registrations.

B. International Sites

Private International Law Database: Trade/Business Transactions Law, U.S. Department of State    

Access to treaties in force for the United States, other international instruments, and information on current negotiations and projects concerning private international law. Updated through January 1, 2001. For treaty actions since January 1, 2001, see


Home page of the courts of the European Communities, with searchable case law and other information.

Electronic Embassy Website    

Information on all foreign embassies in Washington, D.C.


Website providing direct free access to European Union law. Among other things, it includes the Official Journal of the European Union, treaties, legislation, case law, and legislative proposals.

European Franchise Federation (EFF)    

Nonprofit international organization that promotes the interests and development of franchising in Europe.

Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)    

Home page.

International Trademark Association (INTA)    

INTA is an international nonprofit membership association dedicated to the support and advancement of trademarks and related intellectual property.

NAICS Association

Agency that administers the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which replaced the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 1997. NAICS codes are used  by statistical agencies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to classifybusinesses for the collection, analysis, and publication of statistical data related to the economy. 

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Secretariat    

Home page with link to text of NAFTA.

Canadian System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR)    

Home page of the Canadian equivalent to the SEC's EDGAR. Provides access to corporate filings of Canadian companies with Canada's securities regulatory authorities.

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)    

Home page with links to UNICITRAL texts, including conventions, model laws, guides to enactment, legislative guides, legislative recommendations, and model contract rules. In particular, this website includes the text of the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).

CISG Database at Pace University School of Law, Pace Law Library, Institute of International Commercial Law    

Site dedicated to U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), with annotated text of CISG, CISG in different languages, cases organized by countries, and related CISG material.

International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT)    

Home page.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)     

A specialized agency of the United Nations, dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property system.

World Trade Organization (WTO)    

Global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.

C. Government Sites—California

California Department of Corporations (DOC), Franchise Regulation   

Access to information and forms concerning franchise registration.

California Department of Corporations (DOC), Securities Regulation Division   

Access to forms, departmental publications, Commissioner's releases, opinions, and notices concerning the California blue sky laws.


California Department of Corporations website providing access to securities and franchise filings.

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing    

Home page.

California Department of Insurance, Workers' Compensation Information'_comp.html    

Access to information on workers' compensation insurance.

California Department of Real Estate (DRE)   

Home page with information for consumers as well as real estate licensees and examinees.

California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)    

Access to information concerning the Cal-OSHA program.

California Employment Development Department (EDD)    

Home page; information concerning job placement and referrals, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, employment and training, the labor market, payroll taxes, and other topics.

California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)    

Home page with links to downloadable state tax forms and publications.

California Law Revision Commission    

Home page.

Official California Legislative Information    

Full text of bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, as well as their status, history, votes, analyses, and veto messages.

California Legislative Resource    

Webpage maintained by the State Bar of California with many helpful links regarding California's legislative process, pending bills, legislative calendar, committees, and other topics.

State Bar of California Bill Tracking Service    

Centralized legislative monitoring and tracking service listing bills of potential interest to members of the State Bar's sections and their committees.


The CalGOLD website provides links and contact information for California businesses concerning business permits, licenses, and registrations required by federal, regional, state, and local agencies.  Information is searchable according to type of business.

California Office of Privacy Protection      

State agency dedicated to promoting and protecting the privacy rights of consumers.

California State Agencies    

State of California site with links to California agencies, departments, and commissions.

California State Association of Counties    

Home page with links to all California counties.

California State Board of Equalization     

Home page with access to information about sales and use taxes, sellers' permits, forms, and publications.

California Secretary of State— California Business Portal:    

Home page.

Forms and Fees:    

Directory of forms, sample forms, and fees for different business filings, including UCC forms, some in fill-in format.

Business Filings:


Business Entities    

Business Entities main page with links to services offered for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and other business entities; filing tips to meet statutory minimum requirements; name availability; FAQs; and more.

Trademarks and Service Marks    

Trademarks and service marks main page with links to forms and fees, name availability, FAQs, private service companies, and more.

California Business Search    

Fill-in boxes to check records online for corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies.

Starting a Business    

A step-by-step guide for starting a business in California.

e-file Statement of Information    

Fill-in boxes to file a Statement of Information for a corporation online.

Notary Public    

Notary public main page, with links to topics such as obtaining a notary public commission, handbook, authentications, apostille or certification, forms, and fees.

Uniform Commercial Code    

UCC main page with links to UCC Connect (the Secretary of State's online service for UCC inquiries, filings, requests for copies and debtor search certificates, and more), financing statement forms and filing fees, administrative rules, FAQs, and other resources.

International Business Relations Program    

Main page with links to chambers of commerce, foreign consulates, trade associations, and other agencies, and to other resources to assist foreign business entities with various California filing procedures.

Business Program Division, Legislation    

Summaries and links to new state laws affecting businesses.

Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund

Main page with information, including application requirements, instructions, and forms, concerning the fraud compensation fund administered by the Secretary of State's office.

D. Private Agency Sites

ABA Section of Business Law    

Home page with links to publications and other resources for business lawyers.

Active Capital    

Site dedicated to helping individual accredited investors, SBICs, and institutional venture capitalists find small, growing companies through a secure Internet database, and providing ongoing training and research for entrepreneurs and small investors.


Small business portal, with links to forms, directories, and resources on many topics.

American Arbitration Association    

Home page with links to rules and procedures.

American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)

Home page with links to practice areas, professional development, educational materials, meetings, and events.


Free service offering links to annual reports of public companies.


Compliance information and tools for employee benefit plan sponsors, service providers, and participants.

Better Business Bureau    

National home page. There are separate regional Better Business Bureaus covering different geographical areas of California, each with its own website.

The Biz-Tech Network by Brint Institute, LLC    

Portal with a meta-index of business, management, and information technology topics; it also provides search capabilities and full text articles on related issues.    

Business search engine and directory intended to help users find companies, products, services, and other business-related information; some features are fee-based.

Business Law Section of the State Bar of California    

Home page with links to standing committees, programs, and publications.

Business Week Online    

Articles, links, and opportunity to subscribe to free newsletter.


Home page of business and financial news cable network.

CNN Money    

General business news website offered by CNN and Fortune and Money magazines.

Corporate Finance Sourcebook    

Link for ordering popular guidebook published by National Register Publishing. The guidebook features over 1500 top investment sources and 1700 service firms for business entrepreneurs.

Corporate Information    

Subscription-based website offering research reports on public, private, domestic, and foreign corporations.

The Corporate Library    

The Corporate Library is an independent research firm providing corporate governance data, analysis, and risk assessment tools.

Creative Commons    

A nonprofit organization founded by Prof. Lawrence Lessig of Stanford University that provides special copyright license forms and other free tools to enable authors, scientists, artists, and educators to share intellectual property.

Dun & Bradstreet    

Home page of Dun & Bradstreet. Subscribers can request reports and run online queries in proprietary databases.

Edgar Online, Inc.    

Edgar Online, Inc. is a private company, not affiliated with the SEC, specializing in the extraction, packaging, and distribution of public-company information contained in SEC filings.    

Free access to Entrepreneur magazine articles back to 1998.

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)    

Access to FASB Statements of Financial Accounting Standards and other resources.

Findlaw Business Center    

Portal with links to articles and guides on starting a business, taxes and accounting, small business legal concerns, and more. Part of West Group.

Garage Technology Ventures    

Venture capital fund for emerging technology companies.


Organization promulgating the development and use of free software and the use of open-source software licenses.

Google Business News   

Business news headlines with links to full stories from news organizations around the world.

Google Small Business Directory    

A directory of small business resources.

Hieros Gamos Small Business Center    

Portal with links to topics such as starting a business, choosing a legal structure, and financing.

Hoover's Online    

Subscription-based site with industry snapshots, company profiles, earnings, and other information.

Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California    

Home page with links to standing committees, programs, and publications.

International Franchise Association (IFA)    

Trade association promoting responsible franchise development worldwide.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)    

Private agency responsible for global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers, including domain names (such as .com, .org, and country codes such as .fr), as well as addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols.

IP Mall    

Website sponsored by Franklin Pierce Law Center, with links to intellectual property resources around the world (including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, licensing, and technology transfers).


Home page with information about JAMS mediation and arbitration services and a search engine to assist in locating qualified mediators and arbitrators. The website also offers sample dispute resolution clauses for commercial contracts.

Jefren Publishing Co.    

Subscription service offering proxy statement forms and strategies.    

Free database of market research reports representing all market and industry sectors.


Comprehensive current information on market performance and investments.

National Association of Attorneys General    

Association of the attorneys general of all 50 states, with contact information and links to enforcement initiatives.

National Association of Seed and Venture Funds    

Network of private, public, and nonprofit organizations investing and facilitating investment in entrepreneurs.

National Business Association    

Nonprofit association's site for the self-employed and small business community.

National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)    

Home page with links to members and other resources.

New York Stock Exchange (now NYSE Euronext)    

Comprehensive, current information on market performance and investments.


Company offering payroll processing, human resources administration and compliance, and employee benefit administration services for small and mid-sized businesses.

PayPal Merchant Services

Commercial service enabling businesses to accept credit card and other payments securely on websites, by e-mail, or over the telephone.

The Public Register Online    

Free access to annual reports of over 2200 companies. Site also has links to the SEC's Edgar database for filings.


Business and finance news database with reports on business transactions, markets, small businesses, industries, the economy, and other topics.    

ABA-sponsored resource for business people launching e-commerce enterprises and for businesses venturing into online sales.

The Small Business Portal    

Links to topics such as starting a business, franchise advice, financing, and home-based businesses.

Standard & Poor's    

Home page with search engine for public company credit ratings and other features.

Tripod by Lycos    

Portal with tips on starting an online business, yellow pages, and some free and some fee-based services.

U.S. GAAP Information    

Comprehensive source of information on generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S.

Wall Street Journal Online Edition    

General business and financial news.

Washburn University School of Law Small Business Portal    

Portal with links to a forms library and business and economic data.

Yahoo! Finance    

Free company profiles and stock charts for over 9000 public companies.

Yahoo! Small Business    

Portal with links to topics such as creating a website, promoting a business, and selling online.

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