What are benefit corporations?
A benefit corporation is a new form of for-profit corporation. They are subject to all rules that govern normal for-profit entities except for certain key provisions.  They are allowed to take social and environmental impacts into consideration during their decision making processes without fear of shareholder lawsuits. They are not tax-exempt and they are not charities.

what does Public Benefit Mean?
Benefit corporations must provide a "general public benefit" while still being allowed to make a profit. In addition to "general public benefit," a benefit corporation may also stipulate a number of specific public benefits that are enumerated in the statutes.
What about Third Party standards?
Benefit corporations are required to select an independent. third-party standard to use as a map to measure its activities. The legislation does not specify which standard must be used. Our standards fit the criteria. The benefit corporation must also produce annual reports that detail how they did or did not meet the standards they selected.

can we be a Benefit corporation?
Sure.  If you run a company that believes in the triple-bottom line - people, planet and profit - then being a benefit corporation might be your cup of tea.  The laws provide pathways for newly formed or existing businesses to become benefit corporations by amending their articles of incorporation among other things. Mergers and acquisitions are also covered in the statutes.
Benefit corporation terminology
The term "b-corp" is often used to refer to both the generic benefit corporation structure adopted in twelve states now, and a certification called "Certified B Corp" offered by a non-profit known as B-Lab. This can be confusing.  Benefit corporations do not have to use B-Lab's certification in order to be considered a benefit corporation.  Other third-party standards, such as the ones we are developing, are fine.

For Associations and Nonprofits

Unique opportunities for you

Does your association establish standards for your industry or profession? Then you should be interested in this new standard setting opportunity.

Benefit corporations do not compete directly with associations, but instead provide associations with a unique opportunity to work with their members, and with entities like BCSI, to establish industry wide social and environmental standards. Many associations already have strong standard setting expertise. Such expertise can be expanded to assist members in attaining benefit corporation designations pursuant to applicable state law.

Over the next few years, the growth in the number of benefit corporations will be phenomenal. As a result, there will be more corporate capital invested in tackling social and environmental issues and, in turn, providing great sources of funding for the myriad of non-profit organizations working in these areas.