May 8, 2014

Third try's the charm for benefit corps.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
Kate Emery, CEO of reSET tSocial Enterprise Trust, at an event in 2012.

Legislators have approved a law allowing so-called benefit corporations that an advocate for social entrepreneurship said is the most comprehensive in the country.

B-corps are legally obligated to consider both shareholder value and social purpose. Approximately half of U.S. states have allowed them in some form, according to a Hartford social enterprise incubator called reSET, which worked with the nonprofit B–Lab and the Connecticut Bar Association to draft the language of the bill.

The Connecticut bill is unique, according to reSET, because it allows b-corps., after two years of operation, to approve a legacy-preservation option, which requires its assets be used for a public purpose even if the corporation dissolves.

The bill was approved as part of a larger bill called the budget implementer, reSET said.

It will require b-corps. to report annually on their social and environmental impacts.

Similar bills failed in 2013 and 2012.

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