Economic Development

Practice Area

Brad S. Jolly & Associates attorneys have worked with tribes in many commercial transactions and areas of economic development. Some of the services we have provided are:

  • Reviewing, drafting, and negotiating employment agreements, independent contractor and consultant agreements, and contracts for the sale of goods from sand and gravel to slot machines
  • Drafting standardized and form contracts for use by tribes in contracting for goods and services
  • Reviewing, drafting, and negotiating leases for residential, commercial, and agricultural use as well as leasehold mortgages
  • Reviewing, negotiating, and preparing architect, engineering, and construction contracts for tribal governmental buildings, health clinics, schools, gaming operations, convenience stores, tribal museums and cultural centers, trading posts, and other structures
  • Drafting and negotiating licenses for land use as alternatives to leases and rights of way
  • Assisting tribes in establishing enterprises, including both traditional economic enterprise models headed by boards or managers appointed by tribal governing bodies and tribal corporations
  • Drafting codes governing the establishment and operation of non-tribal economic enterprises within the tribe's jurisdiction, such as business formation laws, business licensing, and business regulation

Brad S. Jolly & Associates's philosphy with respect to tribal economic enterprises is to consistently work against the backdrop that the establishment and operation of tribal economic enterprises is itself a governmental function. We recognize that tribal enterprises are not mere "private businesses" and should never be treated as such. Tribal ecnomic enterprises are governmental enterprises which provide basic revenue to tribal governments to provide governmental services - revenues that other governments take for granted. Brad S. Jolly & Associates recognizes that, unlike states and other governments, most tribes lack any significant tax base with which to raise essential governmental revenues and tribal economic enterprises provide to tribes the equivalent of what taxation provides to states. To us, tribal economic enterprises are governmental operations that are themselves part of the exercise of tribal self-government.

We are familiar with the benefits and pitfalls of organizing tribal enterprises as corporations under tribal, state, and federal law as well as the manner in which to establish tribal corporations, including articles of incorporation, issuance of stock, boards of directors, and similar matters. Our attorneys have represented small tribal economic enterprises headed by individual managers, such as sand and gravel operations and hardware stores; large tribal enterprises headed by general managers or governing boards, such as gaming operations; and formal tribal corporations headed by boards of directors. We have dealt with businesses with complex structures composed of separate departments headed by different corporate officers and numerous written policies as well as small businesses headed by a single individual with full decision-making authority.