What is a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation?

Paper money in half globeNew legislation was signed into law on October 24, 2012 making Pennsylvania the twelfth state to formally add the Benefit Corporation to its list of legal business entities. Fifteen other states are currently working through the details of adding a variation of the Benefit Corporation to their options for legal business entities as well.

A Benefit Corporation is a for-profit corporation that will operate in a manner that has a positive impact on both the environment and society.  The Benefit Corporation differs from a traditional corporation in several ways.

Major Distinctions of a Benefit Corporation

(1) The corporation’s stated purpose includes having a material positive impact on society and the environment;

(2) The duties of directors are expanded to require consideration of nonfinancial stakeholders as well as the financial interests of shareholders; and

(3) an obligation to report on its overall social and environmental performance using a comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standard.

The sponsors and supporters of the legislation hope this designation will help consumers recognize the difference between businesses that falsely claim to be environmentally conscious, and those that who practice what they preach.

If you are interested in having your business designated as a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation, the attorneys at the Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can help. Located in western Pennsylvania, the experienced attorneys at Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can answer these and other business law questions, including helping you find a business tax professional in your area.  Contact us today at (412)765-0546 or info@scolierilaw.com.