Benefit Corporation / B Corporation
A type of corporation designed to be “purpose-driven” and operated in the interests not only of shareholders, but of their workers, their communities, and their environment. It provides a new type of corporate structure with the objective of allowing companies to work towards societal goals, along with increasing shareholder value, without opening themselves up to traditional “breach of fiduciary duty” lawsuits from shareholders looking to maximize monetary value at any costs.
In all U.S. states besides Maryland and Vermont, the Benefit Corporation designation is not yet an official legal corporate structure such as a C corporation or a limited liability company. For corporations formed in states without Benefit Corporation legislation, and for existing entities, nongovernmental certification as a “B Corporation” is available from B Lab (http://www.bcorporation.net)
To become certified as a B or Benefit Corporation, a company must a) agree to a set of specific reporting requirements and b) amend its corporate bylaws to acknowledge a legal responsibility to non-shareholder stakeholders.