Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Northeast Regional Office

Training Seminars & Events


The MSBDC Northeast Regional Office conducts free and low-cost training addressing a wide range of concerns for both start-up and existing businesses. Events are held in Massachusetts and offered at no charge unless otherwise noted. Pre-registration is required.

Registration through our office closes at noon on the day prior to the seminar. Unless a seminar is full, walk-ins are welcome! Please be courteous...if you cannot attend a seminar, please call our office at least 48 hours in advance so that someone else may fill your spot. Please review our cancellation and inclement weather policies.

Visit for a complete list of training offered statewide by the MSBDC.

2019 Training Calendar
17 Entity Formation, Negotiation and Legal Basics (Boston)
18 Starting Something: The Ups, Downs and Sideways Approaches to Starting Your New Venture (Boston)
































Program Descriptions

Entity Formation, Negotiation and Legal Basics

Are you wondering what legal entity you should choose for your new business—sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation or something else? When it comes to selecting the right legal entity for your company, there are many options. No one particular form is better than another, but there is a better choice based on how you envision operating the business. The operating entity you choose will determine your legal obligations, financial rights, liability for business debts, and tax liability.  

This workshop will provide an overview of the most common types of operating entities. We also cover some guidelines and considerations to help you choose the best legal structure for your company. Finally, we will discuss negotiating points for those looking to secure venture and angel financing or to provide equity stakes in the company in exchange for services rendered or capital invested. 

Speakers include:

  • Lolita Darden is a registered Patent Attorney and Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School. Lolita teaches in the area of intellectual property law (patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret). She is the Director of Suffolk's Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinic serving new and emerging businesses. Prior to joining Suffolk, Lolita was Chief IP Counsel for Honeywell Consumer Products. She was also a partner with Sachnoff & Weaver where she counseled emerging technology businesses, Fortune 100® companies, and individuals on protecting, exploiting and creating rights in patents, trademarks, and copyrights as well as choosing an operating entity structure based on business goals.
  • William (Will) Bernat is a partner with Nutter McClennen & Fish. He co-chairs the firm's Emerging Companies Group and co-leads the firm's Food and Beverage group. Clients routinely rely on Will to help them navigate through private equity, venture capital, and angel financing transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions, commercial lending transactions, and other corporate governance issues. Tech, life sciences, consumer/retail, and food & beverage companies look to Will for assistance throughout their entire lifespans, from initial planning and formation to operations and exit.

Click here for flyer.

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Time: 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Suffolk University Law School, Room 170 (Multi-Function Room), 120 Tremont Street, Boston
Cost: No charge
Contact: Loletta Darden at 617-305-1641 or

Cosponsored by Suffolk University Law School

Starting Something: The Ups, Downs and Sideways Approaches to Starting Your New Venture

In this discussion, you will learn about how to hone your business concept, finance your project, and avoid pitfalls such as ownership and employment issues. You will also learn how to obtain information about protecting your intellectual property. Come listen to stories of two successful, minority-owned small businesses making a difference in and around Boston!

Speakers include:

  • Professor Loletta Darden, Director, Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic — Suffolk University Law School (moderator)
  • TJ Douglas, Owner, General Manager and Buyer — The Urban Grape
    The Urban Grape is a full-service, concierge-style liquor store in Boston's South End, known for selling wine made by smaller producers, especially those that are family-run.
  • Francisco Marriott, Cofounder and CFO — PlaceMe
    PlaceMe provides living-as-a-service solutions for the global professional looking for a flexible term stay of three months or longer. 

Click here for flyer.

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (includes lunch)
Location: Suffolk University Law School, 5th Floor Commons, 120 Tremont Street, Boston
Cost: No charge
Contact: Loletta Darden at 617-305-1641 or

Cosponsored by Suffolk University Law School

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received by noon the day prior to the seminar will be entitled to a refund. No refund will be given on notifications received after that time or in any no-show situation. When the Enterprise Center collects the registration fees, its cancellation policies apply. Please contact them directly for further information. The MSBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a seminar due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards a future program.

Inclement Weather Policy: In the event that a host school is closed due to inclement weather, SBDC workshops scheduled at that location are also canceled. We will try to cancel workshops before the actual scheduled date if we know that there is bad weather predicted for that day.

We will make every effort to reschedule workshops that have been canceled due to weather conditions as early as possible. Refer to the host school websites for schedule changes, weather alerts and updates.