Thanks to the efforts of B Lab and the community of Certified B Corporations, legislation is being passed across the US that is helping to create a new kind of corporation called the benefit corporation. The purpose of a benefit corporation is to create general public benefit, which is defined as a material positive impact on society and the environment. These corporations provide good jobs and improved quality of life. They offer higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency.
Benefit corporation laws have been enacted in 19 states and is in the process of being reviewed in many others. In the era of partisan gridlock, this legislation is remarkable in that it has enjoyed overwhelming bi-partisan support, including 12 unanimous votes in state legislatures. The widespread support is due to the fact that this legislation is 100 percent voluntary and costs states nothing.
On July 17, 2013, Delaware Governor Jack Markell became the most recent governor to sign benefit corporation legislation into law. Delaware is an important state because it is home to 1 million businesses, including 50 percent of all publicly-traded companies and 64 percent of the Fortune 500, it is the most important state for businesses that seek access to venture capital, private equity, and public capital markets.
Benefit corporation legislation not only gives businesses the freedom and legal protection to pursue the triple bottom line.
According to a White Paper from a group of corporate attorneys, the benefit corporation is the corporate structure that best meets the needs of the growing number of entrepreneurs and investors who seek to use business as a tool to solve social and environmental problems.
This growth of B corporation legislation suggests that capitalism is evolving and business is assuming a greater role in society to create shared and durable prosperity.
For more information visit benefitcorp.net to find resources for businesses and attorneys interested in learning more.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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