What are Benefit Corporations?

NW Spotlight_thb

by NW Spotlight

A Capitol follower who happened to be at a hearing on HB 2318 in Salem had their interest piqued when they heard Democrats pushing Benefit Corporations, and dancing around the questions being asked.

A 2011 article in left-leaning The Nation magazine described Benefit Corporations as having “the purpose of making a ‘positive impact on society and the environment,'” “Benefit Corporations can’t be held liable by courts for failing to place profits over everything else. This is an important shift in law.” The article went on “Our besieged labor unions and nonprofits should bolster these businesses—green, local, progressive, entrepreneurial, community-focused,” and “they must go regularly before a third-party validator like B Lab, the visionary Philadelphia-based alliance of more than 400 so-called B Corps across the country.”

It sounds like to become a Benefit Corporation (B Corp) it requires being “validated” by B Lab – which would seem to give a great deal of power to B Lab, depending on what tax benefits, etc. are given to B Corps. At first glance, it’s not really clear how a B Corp differs from a nonprofit or not-for-profit corporation, but it sounds like they may be trying to set up an infrastructure to allow taxes and laws to favor liberal or progressive corporations?

Other Benefit Corporation related Oregon legislation this year (not a comprehensive list)

Benefit Corp legislation progress by state

click to enlarge


Just in case we need a hint on what B Corps are all about, these “progressive” corporations, check out their logo (on the left) and compare it to one of the major party logos (on the right).

B Corp-Dem logo compare

Additional information on “B Labs”:

Certified B Corporations (B Lab)

The Non-Profit Behind B Corps

Board of Directors

Our Funders


(h/t Marc Heatherington)