Louisiana Becomes 9th State to Pass Benefit Corporation Legislation

As of today, August 1st, 2012, companies throughout the state can incorporate as benefit corporations. To celebrate the passage of this new legislation, the New Orleans Business Alliance along with Propeller and B Lab are hosting a reception tonight from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. An RSVP is required to attend this event.For those of you in Baton Rouge, catch the press conference at the Louisiana State Capitol at 10:00 am. The New Orleans Business Alliance, Propeller, and B Lab will be joined by Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger and the New Orleans Delegation.

If you have a C-Corp, LLC or L3C, businesses can likely be transitioned into a B-Corp in a few easy steps. This new class of corporations allows businesses to me more socially conscious and to consider society and the environment through business practices. Louisiana is now the 9th state in the country to have passed this legislation.

B Lab is the non-profit that independently researches and certifies B-Corps. They rate companies on a scale of 200, and if that particular company scores an 80 or above on the categories of environment, employees and community, the company can incorporate as a B-Corp. B Lab is determined to recognize companies with a conscience that also sometimes need protection. B-Corp companies are legally mandated to maximize social benefits and now are not penalized for not maximizing profits like many have in the past.

Propeller’s executive direction, Andrea Chen, was featured in Forbes last week. Andrea knows that even with the number of companies working towards public benefit and social good, there needs to be a major educational campaign before so many more companies transition into a benefit corporation. The article also mentions that over 50,000 businesses across the country, “identify themselves as aiming to create a public benefit and not just financial value for shareholders, according to B Lab.”

This PBS video takes a look a successful B-Corps around the country, including Warby Parker, a company that Molly wrote about after an interview with co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal here, here, and here. The video is long, but worth a look:

Watch Benefit Corporations Aim to Make Profit, Positive Impact on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.