The most recent form of corporate structure is the B Corporation, otherwise known as a "Benefit Corporation."
A B Corporation's charter requires the company to conform to socially-beneficial practices. These practices can include protecting the environment or preserving employee benefits. The establishment of B Corporations grew out of the growing interest in socially responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, and social entrepreneurship.
B Corporations seek the tax benefits of a nonprofit corporation within a business structure that seeks a profit even while providing desirable social benefits. Some states have passed legislation to provide these tax benefits to B Corporations.
A B Corporation is, thus, a kind of hybrid business organization, bridging the gap between profit and nonprofit.
The B Lab Company sets the standards for B Corporations and evaluates whether an organization is in compliance with the B corporation goals.
To become a B corporation, an organization must be certified by B Lab and:
- Receive a minmum score of 80 (out of 200) on the B Ratings System
- Agree to make certain legal changes to its articles of incorporation
- Remit an annual licensing fee to B Lab
Visit B Lab for more information about the requirements, process, and application process. B Lab also maintains a list of certified B Corporations.