Benefit Corporation

Start and grow your business while making a positive impact on the community.

Forming a Benefit Corporation provides the same personal asset protection and formalization of your business structure as a regular corporation, with the added market differentiation as a mission-driven business.

$89+ state fees

What are the potential benefits of forming a benefit corporation?

Personal asset protection

Forming a benefit corporation shield the owners of the business from becoming financially responsible for the debts and obligations of the business.

Differentiate your brand

Strive to have higher accountability as a business and seek to build growth from the underlying purpose of solving social and environmental problems.

Share your mission with the community

Gain additional support from investors and potential customers who may favor the public benefit approach of your business.

We make it easy

Our team of experienced business filing experts will quickly and accurately handle all of the required documents needed to start your benefit corporation.

What is a benefit corporation?

A Benefit Corporation (also referred to as a B Corporation) is a type of for-profit corporation that aims to create shareholder value like any other for-profit companies. The benefit corporation was created to provide an option for entrepreneurs who want to voluntarily adopt higher standards of corporate purpose, transparency, and accountability. The entity provides a way to legally cement a social or environmental mission into a company's corporate and legal structure. The laws that apply to a standard corporation law apply to benefit corporations as well, except where those provisions conflict with or are inconsistent with the benefit corporation provisions. So just like a traditional for-profit corporation, a benefit corporation is an independent legal and tax entity separate from the people who own, control and manage it.

Because of this separate status, the owners of a benefit corporation don't use their personal tax returns to pay tax on corporate profits - the corporation itself pays these taxes. Owners pay personal income tax only on money they draw from the corporation in the form of salaries, bonuses, or distributions.

What are the benefits of filing as a benefit corporation?

Forming a B Corporation provides the same benefits as other corporate entities, including limited liabilty protection for its owners, a formal corporate structure, and the ability to sell shares of stock. Forming a Benefit Corporation also differentiates your brand and demonstrates that your business is mission driven, which can help to generate outside interest from customers or potential investors.

What is the difference between a B-Corporation and a Non-Profit Corporation?

Unlike non-profits, benefit corporations are for-profit entities and therefore do not offer the same tax advantages as a nonprofit. Both nonprofits and benefit corporations aim to make a positive impact on society and the environment, but benefit corporations conduct business activities that presume a return on investments, while non-profits seek charitable donations to fund their business practices. Nonprofits cannot become benefit corporations themselves, but a nonprofit may create a benefit corporation as a vehicle for conducting and scaling the earned-income activities of the nonprofit.

What is the difference between B-Corporation and a B Corp?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, a benefit corporation (B-Corporation) and a "B Corp" are two distinct things. The B-Corporation is an actual legal entity recognized by the Secretary of State and formed upon the filing of required paperwork, like the Articles of Incorporation. Conversely, the B Corp is a certification, conferred upon a company that meets certain social and environmental sustainability standards. Therefore, it is possible to be a B Corp but not a legally recognized B-Corporation, thus allowing other business forms like LLCs or professional corporations to voluntarily commit themselves to the purpose, transparency and accountability requirements, inherent in B-Corporations.

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Frequently asked questions

When you decide to incorporate your business, there are four different business entities to choose from: C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Non-Profit Corporation, or Professional Corporation . Read more or compare business entities in our Comparison Chart.

While the terms are often used interchangeably, a benefit corporation (B-Corporation) and a "B Corp" are two distinct things. The B-Corporation is an actual legal entity recognized by the Secretary of State and formed upon the filing of required paperwork, like the Articles of Incorporation. Conversely, the B Corp is a certification, conferred upon a company that meets certain social and environmental sustainability standards. Therefore, it is possible to be a B Corp but not a legally recognized B-Corporation, thus allowing other business forms like LLCs or professional corporations to voluntarily commit themselves to the purpose, transparency and accountability requirements, inherent in B-Corporations.

B-Corporations are not available in every state, yet. They are evolving much like the LLC evolved - gradually across the United States. Maryland was the first state to pass benefit corporation legislation in April 2010, followed by Hawaii, Virginia, California, Vermont, and New Jersey. In December, 2011, New York became the 7th state, and in June, 2012, Washington became the 8th. As of August 2013, 20 jurisdictions including D.C. and Delaware have passed legislation making the benefit corporation entity available. Other states like Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia have introduced benefit corporation legislation.