Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pennsylvania Authorizes Benefit Corporations

We have great news to report!

Pennsylvania has become the 12th state in the nation to pass and sign legislation allowing for-profit businesses to select the "benefit corporation" designation.  Here is a link to the bill.

Associations in Pennsylvania should be paying close attention to the advent of benefit corporations in their state.  This new designation may give your members added flexibility in their business practices as well as the ability to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

This bill contains restrictions on the ability of associations to set standards for benefit corporations much like the other bills in California, New York, etc.  However, the Benefit Corporation Standards Institute, Inc., (BCSI) has a cross-functional platform built for you to positively engage in the important work of setting standards without running afoul of those restrictions.

As always, we are compelled to remind everyone that Benefit Corporations are legal designations administered by the states they operate in.  The entity that is sponsoring the legislation does have a certification program that they run, but that certification is not a requirement for operating as a benefit corporation.  Selecting solid, credible and meaningful standards to abide by and then providing an annual report as to how you did in meeting those standards is. Our mission is to develop those standards and freely and openly publish them for businesses and consumers alike.

Please stay tuned as we continue to move forward with this important work.

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