Incorporating as a Public Benefit Corporation (“PBC” or “Benefit Corp”) is more than mere symbolism and signaling – it is an enduring and emphatic statement about accountability, transparency and human ecology.
By choosing to become a benefit corporation, Perlstein Lab accepts responsibility to be not only cognizant of our social and physical environment, but also to be rigorous in challenging unsustainable business practices.
What is a Benefit Corporation?
A Benefit Corporation is a business organizational structure that, under varying state laws, requires companies to provide social and environmental benefit.
Why Public Benefit Corporation?
The Benefit Corporation and other legislatively-recognized socially-responsible corporate forms are the offspring of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement. Advocates of CSR demand that companies operate transparently, accountably and strive to do more than just maximize profit. The Benefit Corporation allows social entrepreneurs to meet that demand.
Benefit Corporation founders and their shareholders believe that the ends do not justify the means.
In traditional for-profit corporate forms (such as a C-Corporation), interest in maximizing profit can and often does come at the cost of founders’ seemingly-integral objectives. Benefit Corporations are statutorily required to codify and honor their beneficial purpose in their organizing documents. This is similar to the requirements for nonprofit organizations, but without the restraint on retaining profits for shareholders.
Basic data on Benefit Corporations
While being among the first biotech Benefit Corporations makes us somewhat unique, we are glad that we aren’t alone.
Although Benefit Corporations only emerged in the last few years (initial legislation passed in Maryland in 2010), they are now viable in 25 US states – each with varying requirements for obtaining and maintaining Benefit Corporation status.
Benefit Corporations are not just an American phenomenon – they are everywhere, with over 1,000 businesses around for the world.
Perlstein Lab is on a public benefit corporation on a mission of orphan drug discovery.
Our mission permeates all we do – from shopping for equipment in a sustainable way, to the science we pursue – researching for cures for those left behind by big Pharma.
In future posts we will explain in greater detail how our processes serve our mission. In the meantime we look forward to your feedback and to engaging an ongoing conversation about how we can better our business practices.
Please feel free to contact us for more information about Benefit Corporations and our mission.