Featured Policy

Maryland’s Benefit Corporations Instill Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship in Business

On 13th April 2010, Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law, Senate Bill 690, making Maryland the first US state to legally recognise a new corporate entity, the ‘Benefit Corporation’. While traditional corporation’s primary purpose is dictated by its fiduciary duty to shareholders, which means maximising shareholder profit, benefit corporations have a wider business mandate for social and environmental benefit.

The terms ‘Benefit Corporation’ and ‘B-Corp’ are not interchangeable. While both seek to benefit society and the environment, the Benefit Corporation legal entity is completely separate and distinct from B-Corp certification.

As of mid 2015, there are 28 states that have followed Maryland’s lead in enacting Benefit Corporation legislation, with over 1550 registered Benefit Corporations in the USA, of which 81 are situated in Maryland and 14 other states are looking at implementation.

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