As a business owner, you know that one of the first steps in setting up a business is deciding what type of entity to form. Today, two types of corporations are gaining popularity – public benefit corporations and B corps. While these two types of entities may sound similar, they have distinct differences. Let’s explore those differences and how you can determine which kind of corporation is right for your business.
What Is A Public Benefit Corporation?
A public benefit corporation (PBC) is a for-profit company legally required to operate responsibly and sustainably. PBCs must consider how their decisions affect society and their shareholders. Therefore, PBCs must make decisions that serve their shareholders’ interests and benefit society. In addition, PBCs are required to report on their social and environmental performance on an annual basis.
The Benefits Of Being A Public Benefit Corporation
The primary benefit of being a PBC is the ability to make decisions based on more than just financial performance. This allows businesses to operate with a social conscience while still generating profits for their shareholders. In addition, being a PBC has become increasingly popular among investors who value companies prioritizing social responsibility over short-term gains.
It also allows businesses to receive tax breaks from specific states or countries due to their commitment to sustainability or philanthropy initiatives. Also, companies that become PBCs often enjoy better press coverage due to their dedication to doing good in the world.
What Is A B Corp?
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by B Lab—an organization dedicated to empowering companies based on their commitment to social responsibility, transparency, and accountability—to meet rigorous social and environmental performance standards, accountability, and transparency. To become certified as a B Corp, companies must complete an assessment process focused on five areas:
- community engagement
- environmental stewardship
Once certified as a B Corp., companies must renew their certification every three years by completing another assessment process focused on measuring impact rather than compliance with minimum standards set forth by B Lab’s certification criteria.
The Benefits Of Being A B Corp
The primary benefit of becoming certified as a B Corp is the ability for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to creating positive change in the world through sustainable practices without sacrificing profit margins or shareholder value. Also, being certified as a B Corp can lead to increased brand recognition due to its association with high standards of corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives. Many consumers prefer this when choosing which brands they will support with their wallets.
Businesses that become certified as B Corps often receive special discounts or access from other B Corps due to mutually beneficial relationships between participating organizations committed to creating positive change in the world through sustainable practices while still generating profits for shareholders.
Understanding The Differences Between Public Benefit Corporations And B Corps: In Closing
Both public benefit corporations and B corps offer advantages. However, deciding whether your company should become either a PBC or a B corp can be tricky since both offer unique benefits depending on your goals and objectives as an organization leader or investor. Ultimately, it comes down to which approach works best for your particular situation.
Whether prioritizing long-term profitability through sustainability initiatives or demonstrating your commitment to creating positive change in the world without sacrificing shareholder value, with a good understanding of both public benefit corporations and B corps, you can choose the type of corporation best suited for your needs. This way, you can focus on growing your business while doing good in the world.