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What is a Benefit Corporation?
A new legal tool to create a solid foundation for long term mission alignment and value creation. It protects mission through capital raises and leadership changes, creates more flexibility when evaluating potential sale and liquidity options, and prepares businesses to lead a mission-driven life post-IPO.
Why Become a Benefit Corporation?
How to Become a Benefit Corporation?
Why do Investors Like Benefit Corps?
Benefit Corporations & Certified B Corps
Benefit Corp News Events
Why Kickstarter Decided to Radically Transform its Business Model
By Michael Thomas 04.12.17
First Benefit Corporation Goes Public — Laureate Education
By B Lab 02.22.17
Data.world raises $18.7 million to remedy our post-fact society
By John Mannes 02.22.17
Delaware Public Benefit Corporation Practice Note
By Frederick H. Alexander, Melissa A. DiVincenzo, Eric S. Klinger-Wilensky 11.30.16
A Corporate Paradigm Shift: Public Benefit Corporations
By Stephen I. Glover, Lisa A. Fontenot, Harrison A. Korn 08.10.16
Business Law Today
Business Law Today: An Introduction to Benefit Corporations
In Philadelphia, A Bold Experiment In Sustainable Journalism
By Brad Edmondson 06.20.16
Kickstarter’s Mission Is Non-Negotiable
By John Battelle 05.11.16
Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell
The Public Benefit Corporation Guidebook
By Frederick Alexander 05.03.16
The Huffington Post
This Bank Is Making Itself More Accountable To Investors. Here’s Why.
By Ben Walsh 04.06.16
Benefit corporation status is a type of legal structure for businesses. It is not a certification, and it is available only in those states which have passed benefit corporation legislation. To become a benefit corporation, a company must incorporate as one in one of the states where it is available. Learn more about benefit corporation requirements.
To be a Certified B Corp, a company must meet high standards of performance, transparency, and accountability as set by the non-profit B Lab, including meeting a certain score on the B Impact Assessment, which measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, and environment. Companies of any size, structure, or location may be certified as B Corporations. Benefit corporations may choose to be certified as B Corporations as well, but there is no requirement to do so. Learn more about the differences between Certified B Corps and benefit corporations .
Benefit corporations are for-profit companies that want to consider additional stakeholders in addition to making a profit for their shareholders. They are not non-profits, hybrids, or charities. Non-profits may not become benefit corporations unless they switch to a for-profit structure.
Benefit corporations must use a freely-chosen credible, comprehensive, independent and transparent third party standard to create their benefit report, but they do not need to be certified or audited by that third party standard. Benefit corporations may choose to be certified by a third party standard as a best practice and as a means to attract capital, but there is no requirement to do so. Learn more about benefit corporation reporting requirements .
Any size company can incorporate or re-incorporate as a benefit corporation. Over 1,200 companies have incorporated nationally as benefit corporations, most in the last few years and all since October 2010. Some well-known benefit corporations include Patagonia, Method, Plum Organics, and King Arthur Flour.
Benefit corporations are attractive to a large and growing market for socially responsible and impact investments. Multiple benefit corporations including Ello, Dancing Deer Baking Co. and Cotopaxi have already raised capital both from social impact investors and from more traditional funds. There is over $3.7 Trillion in socially responsible investing assets under professional management today; the benefit corporation structure reduces due diligence time for those investors to find businesses that meet their investment goals.
Benefit corporation laws do not change or impact tax law in any way. A benefit corporation still must choose either C or S status like a traditional corporation, and are not taxed differently than other types of corporations.