The movement to create new legal structure for social business called benefit corporation, took a definitive step forward in April 2010, when the first state passed the legislation.To Pass State LawPassing a bill requires no small amount of work.  A bill must be drafted with consideration of existing corporate codes and state law infrastructure, and it must be sponsored by a state legislator(s). Support for the new law must be established by affected constituents such as state and local business, entrepreneurs, and other state actors. The bill must be persuasive, relevant, and must address an unmet need. The bill must be presented in and voted on by various committees and representatives of state assemblies, and state senates.

And, if that process wasn’t involved enough, each state differs in its rules and process of how a bill is passed.

So it is noteworthy that benefit corporations did not only become law in a single state. The legislation has gone on to be introduced in various states, and has recently been passed in another 5 states. And similar legislation is being introduced in various other states.

So which states were first on the scene for benefit corporation?

6 in black, white, silver
6 States That Have Passed Benefit Corporation Legislation

  1. Maryland passed SB690/HB1009 in April 2010.
  2. Vermont passed S.263 in May 2010.
  3. Virginia passed HB2358 in March 2011.
  4. New Jersey passed S2170 in March 2011.
  5. Hawaii passed SB298 in July 2011.
  6. California passed AB361 in October 2011.
Read the text of the bills, find out about the legislative sponsors, and follow links to press coverage of the benefit corporation bills on B Lab’s Public Policy page.

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