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Virgina Benefit Corporations

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has signed legislation that will make Virginia the fourth state to allow stock corporations to become Benefit Corporations (B Corps). The bill had unanimously passed both the Virginia State Senate and the Viriginia State legislature. Governor McDonnell signed HB 2358 on March 26, 2011 and the legislation will take effect on July 1, 2011.

Previous states that have adopted B Corp legislation include Maryland, Vermont (where the legislation become applicable in July also) and New Jersey. Several other states are working on their own versions of benefit corporation legislation.

The Washington Post described benefit corporations in a very succinct way, “At its core, benefit corporations blend the altruism of nonprofits with the business sensibilities of for-profit companies. These hybrid entities pay taxes and can have shareholders, without the risk of being sued for not maximizing profits. Companies can consider the needs of customers, workers, the community or environment and be well within their legal right.”

The Startup Owl says, “It is not surprising that the benefit corp legislation is picking up speed. It is only codifying what is already the aspiration of many ventures. far to often the law is in catch-up, rather than enabling mode–especially where business is concerned.”

PLEASE NOTE: There is tons of useful stuff on Startup Owl, a site that’s been going for a dozen years. So keep browsing, but know that the founder, Will, now devotes most of his time and energy to his new website that you should definitely visit:

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