About a year ago I found this article by Kyle W on Care2 about how California was creating 2 new classes of corporations to empower social entrepreneurs: Benefit Corporations and Flexible Purpose Corporations. Well I am all for empowering social entrepreneurs, so now that several months have passed I began trolling around to see how successful these forms of corporations have become. Apparently, 7 States have adopted legislation to register B corporations and to date 603 companies have gone for it!
There seems to be one major organization that promotes them called, what else, B Corporation. From their website, here is the definition of B Corporations:
- Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards;
- Meet higher legal accountability standards;
- Build business constituency for public policies that support sustainable business.
California also passed legislation for the Flexible Purpose Corporation which allows companies to state one other purpose besides maximizing shareholder value. This mean that directors can maximize stakeholder value and can't be sued for not maximizing profit. I believe California is the only State which has adopted this type.
For more information on the subject, the continuing education of the bar - California wiki has the best and most detailed information I have found.