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Serving the Creative Arts Community Since 1974

Another Way to Do Business: Worker Cooperatives for the Creative Arts

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Bldg. C Room 265, Ft. Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123 (enter at Buchanan St. and Marina Blvd)


  • Includes 1.5 hours of California CLE credit.
  • For current members of C.L.A.
  • For current Senior Citizen and Student members of C.L.A.
  • For non-members of C.L.A.

Registration is closed

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Another Way to Do Business: Worker Cooperatives for the Creative Arts

With Neil Helfman, Esq.

The workshop will present workers' cooperatives as a choice of entity and alternate way of conducting business. Although the emphasis will be on workers' cooperatives there will be a general discussion about all types of cooperatives, how the various types of cooperatives may serve the needs of artists, and the historical
development of cooperative businesses. Controlling federal and state cooperative statutory law will be identified and explained. The focus on workers cooperatives will begin with the operational requirements defined by Pugent Sound Plywood, Inc. 44 T.C.
309 (1965). 

Each of these requirements will be examined to show how workers
cooperatives differ from other types of business, how they affect the operation of business, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The pros and cons of incorporation and possible alternatives will be discussed along with required and possible provisions in the articles of incorporation and bylaws. The workshop will examine the application of labor law to workers cooperative and update recent developments including litigation horror stories. It will conclude with presenter's opinion of the reasons for forming a workers cooperatives and the possible benefits they may provide.

  • Cooperatives in general, and workers' cooperatives in particular
  • How workers' cooperatives differ from other entity choices
  • Advantages and disadvantages these differences may create
  • Subchapter T of the IRS and tax planning possibilities
  • Incorporating as a workers' cooperative under California law
  • The application of labor law to workers' cooperative
  • Reasons for forming a workers' cooperative

MCLE credit and written materials 

will be provided for MCLE registrants!

Neil A. Helfman resides and practices law in Richmond, California. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968, and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco in 1985. He has been in practice for over 25 years and has litigated before administrative, trials, and appellate courts. His primary areas of litigation are commercial torts, contract violations and enforcement, employment law, and construction law. In addition he has formed, severed as counsel, and written about workers' cooperatives for the last 22 years. He also wrote five other articles concerning various legal topics that were published by Am. Jur. Proof of Facts. Prior to practicing law he was a member of five labor unions including Carpenters & Joiners and the Teamsters. Recently, he has made his own attempt at functional art by designing and creating an interior support structure and laminated wood product for which he presently hold provisional patents.



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