You can officially add Pennsylvania to the list. Although legislation has been passed last fall, the Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation Act will come into effect on January 23rd.
Benefit corporations have a purpose to benefit society and the environment while pursuing a traditional purpose of making profit for its shareholders. Because the general fiduciary duty of the actors in a traditional corporation is to maximize value for shareholders, this new form of incorporation speaks to those who wish for the freedom to legally pursue social, environmental, and financial goals.
To become a benefit corporation in Pennsylvania, an existing corporation would have to gather two-thirds vote of its shareholders. A company would either submit a new or amend an existing Articles of Incorporation, along with a docketing statement, to the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.
Each year, the benefit corporation must prepare and distribute to its shareholders an Annual Benefit Report that describes its effort to create public benefit for that year.
Pennsylvania is one of 12 other states across the U.S. to have benefit corporation legislation.
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