Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Does your business have a social mission?

From Andrew Delmonte, Social Enterprise Coordinator at the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Buffalo State. The SBDC’s Social Enterprise Services include free one-to-one counseling in the following areas: social business planning, Benefit Corporation filing, social impact measurement and reporting, and financing your social enterprise. For more information contact Andrew at (716) 878-4030.

Is your business venture motivated by more than profits? Do you want to start a “triple bottom line” business, to pursue both social impact and financial self-sufficiency? If so, Benefit Corporation legal status might be right for you.

A Benefit Corporation is a hybrid legal entity that blends elements of nonprofit and for-profit corporations. It is taxed like a traditional corporation. It protects directors from liability for pursuing a social objective instead of simply profit. Benefit Corporations measure both financial and social bottom lines, and report their social and environmental impacts in an annual Benefit Report.

Advantages of Benefit Corporation Legal Status
SUPPORTS ACCOMPLISHMENT OF SOCIAL MISSION Allows directors and officers to consider social mission in making decisions. Also ties future owners to the same mission.
LIABILITY PROTECTION Provides liability protection for directors and officers to consider interests other than profits.
ATTRACTS CUSTOMERS AND TALENT Demonstrates commitment to social mission to both customers and employees.
ACCESS TO CAPITAL Traditional for-profit capital:
· Can sell shares/equity
· Impact investors
· Bank loans and SBA- guaranteed loans

Traditional nonprofit capital:
· Grants/PRIs
TAX STATUS Same as NYS corporation
HOW TO FILE Same filings required as NYS corporation. Must include purpose of creating general public benefit in your Articles of Incorporation and Corporate Bylaws.*
TRANSPARENCY Publish an annual Benefit Report including a third party assessment of social and environmental impacts.
Download a PDF version of this handout

Social Enterprise Counseling 

We provide assistance for entrepreneurs seeking to directly address social and environmental problems through their business. SBDC’s Social Enterprise Services include free one-to-one counseling in the following areas: social business planning, Benefit Corporation filing, social impact measurement and reporting, and financing your social enterprise.

For more information, contact:

Cleveland Hall 206
1300 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone (716) 878-4030

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