The flexibility afforded by this provision can be used to institutionalize the particular mission and priorities of the benefit corporation into its legal DNA.
Effective usage of this provision requires consultation with a corporate attorney, ideally one with experience addressing the needs of businesses and investors interested in using business as a tool to solve social and environmental problems. For example, effective usage may require not only naming specific public benefit purposes, but may also include the creation of distinct voting rights with respect to altering them.
All benefit corporations are required to have a general public benefit purpose (see Guidance: Creating General Public Benefit) and have the right to name one or more specific public benefit purposes that directors will be additionally obligated to pursue. Any specific public benefit purpose must be named in its articles of incorporation (see How to Become a Benefit Corporation).
Specific public benefit purpose is defined to include the non exhaustive list below, which explicitly permits a benefit corporation to name any specific benefit purpose that has the effect of ‘conferring any other particular benefit on society or the environment’.
(1) providing low-income or underserved individuals or communities with beneficial products or services;
(2) promoting economic opportunity for individuals or communities beyond the creation of jobs in the normal course of business;
(3) preserving the environment;
(4) improving human health;
(5) promoting the arts, sciences or advancement of knowledge;
(6) increasing the flow of capital to entities with a public benefit purpose; and
(7) conferring any other particular benefit on society or the environment.
Guidance: Considering Stakeholder Interests
Guidance: Creating General Public Benefit