Public Benefit Corporation Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Public Benefit Corporation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Public Benefit Corporation?

It refers to a non profit organisation owned by the government and which carries out the services or functions for the benefit of public. These are mostly the charitable institutions.

History and Meaning of Public Benefit Corporation

A public benefit corporation is a type of business entity that is incorporated for public benefit purposes. It differs from a traditional corporation in that it is not required to focus solely on maximizing shareholder returns. Instead, a public benefit corporation is required to consider the impact of its business decisions on a broader group of stakeholders, including employees, customers, the community, and the environment. Public benefit corporations are often found in industries that have a significant social or environmental impact, such as renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.

The concept of a public benefit corporation has its roots in the social responsibility movement of the 1960s and 70s. At that time, there was growing concern about the impact of business on society and the environment, and a desire to create a more sustainable and equitable economic system. Today, public benefit corporations are recognized as a legitimate form of business entity in many jurisdictions, including the United States, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Examples of Public Benefit Corporation

  1. Patagonia: A clothing company that is committed to sustainability and environmental activism. It is a certified B Corporation and is committed to using environmentally-friendly materials and production processes.

  2. Ben & Jerry's: An ice cream company that is committed to social justice and environmental sustainability. It is a long-time advocate for progressive causes and has used its profits to support a variety of social and environmental initiatives.

  3. The Honest Company: A consumer products company that is committed to creating safe and effective products that are good for people and the planet. It is a certified B Corporation and is committed to using natural and sustainable ingredients.

Legal Terms Similar to Public Benefit Corporation

  1. B Corporation: A company that has been certified by the non-profit B Lab as meeting certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

  2. Social Enterprise: A business that is founded with the primary goal of achieving a social or environmental mission.

  3. Corporate Social Responsibility: A business model that emphasizes the importance of conducting business in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible.