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Free Legal Resources List

To help connect Northeast Florida businesses and their owners to of free legal information and vital resources, we have complied these links and explanations. 

Free Trademark and Copyright Resources

 

Trademarks are governed by the U.S Lanham Trademark Act and are administered by the United States Trademark and Patent Office which is an essential resource for trademark information. On their site you can search for registered trademarks, file a trademark, and manage a trademark application. They also publish many useful materials such as their Trademark  Manual of Examining Procedures, Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedures and the Design Search Code Manual

Copyrights are governed by the U.S. Copyright Act and are administrated by the United State Copyright Office whose site offers a copyright search and has their own filing system. They also have useful information and forms, such as their Copyright Office practices and procedures. 

Industry Specific Resources

 

Independent Video Game Developers 

Many great developers make a name for themselves with opensource software, and the GNU General Public licenses is a great open-source licencing agreement for the products you create and want to make publicly available for free. Developers have great network resources such as the International Game Developers Association where you can connect with people that have experience developing and publishing games or applications for Xbox, Windows, Web, and Windows phone, Steam Green Light for Developers, the Unity Asset Store,using Desura for Developers and more.     

Electronic Cigarette Resources

The E-Cig Business is under strict scrutiny right now, stake-holders should be well aware that the Food and Drug Administration has proposed some costly regulations that may change the industry as we know it today. Those in the industry can use network resources such as the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association to stay on top of the current state of regulation and any new developments.  

Free Resources for Business Owners

 

The Florida Division of Corporations site is a must-know for all business owners, as this site is for business registration, fictitious name registration, and filing your annual reports and allows for searches of business interests, officers, and registered agents. Business owners should also get accustom to their local clerk of court or comptroller's sites so they can find recorded public records such as deeds, judgments, mortgages, deed restrictions (homeowners association documents) and other public information that may become relevant to a particular deal or negotiation, these are the sites relevant to Northeast Florida for Duval County public records, St. Johns County public records and Clay County public records. Florida also has a Secured Transaction Registry which provides Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) forms, searches for due diligence, and registration of a secured transactions.

Free Sources of Florida Laws and Rules

 

The  Florida Statutes are a great searchable source for finding relevant legislation that may be pertinent to your business or legal issue. The statutory law is not always clear on its face and subject to judicial interpretation, ours state's court opinions, dating as far back as 1999, can found on Florida's Court websites including those for the Florida Supreme Court, First District Court of Appeal, Second District Court of Appeal, the Third District Court of Appeal, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and the Fifth District Court of Appeal.  

You can access many local laws or ordinances online including zoning regulations, building code, and entertainment rules such as those for Jacksonville Clay County and St. Johns County

The Florida Bar publishes many useful legal forms and pamphlets as well as the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Judicial Administration that govern litigation processes and conduct. 

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation publishes regulations and rules for professionals as well as regulated businesses such as those involving alcoholic beverages and tobacco.