Last month, I happened to hear about something called a “B Corporation” on the NPR program Marketplace. I’d never heard of it before. LLCs, S corps, and C corps, yes, but never a “B” corp. What in the world was this?
It turns out B (B = “Beneficial”) corporations are a relatively new community created by a non-profit group called B Lab, a community comprised of businesses who commit to using their business to “solve social and environmental problems”.
To join, businesses have to amend their laws of incorporation to reflect their commitment to be socially responsible as well as pay B Lab a fee based on a percentage of their revenues. In return, businesses that sign on get certified as “B corporations” and in theory reap the benefits of the certification as its credibility grows. Numi tea, Uncommon Goods, King Arthur Flour are some of the more famous founding companies on B Labs’ website that you may recognize.