What is a benefit corporation?
A benefit corporation is a new class of corporation that voluntarily meets higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency.
Benefit corporations: 1) have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment; 2) are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders but also on workers, community, and the environment; and 3) are required to make available to the public an annual benefit report that assesses their overall social and environmental performance against a third party standard.
Becoming a benefit corporation gives entrepreneurs and investors an additional choice when determining which corporate form is most suitable to achieve their objectives.
Does benefit corp affect a company's tax status?
It doesn't. Companies can still elect to be taxed as a C or S corp. Benefit corp status only affects requirements of corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency; everything else remains the same.
Do benefit corps have to get certified?
No. Benefit corporations do not have to become certified. Not by B Lab; not by anyone. Benefit corporations and Certified B Corps are different. You can learn more about that here.
Are there attorneys who can help companies determine whether benefit corp status makes sense for them?
Yes. There is a growing number of attorneys familiar with benefit corporations. For a directory, click here.
In what states can a company become a benefit corp?
Benefit corporation legislation has passed in AR, AZ, CA, DC, HI, IL, LA, MA, MD, NJ, PA, SC VA, VT and NY, and is moving forward in several others. For state by state information, click here.