Business and Economics

Lawmaker Proposes Public Benefit Corporations

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December 23, 2014 — Mike Corbin, Network Indiana — Indiana may be due for a new of type of business designation.

Indiana State Rep. Casey Cox is sponsoring legislation in the upcoming session that supports so-called, “Public Benefit Corporations.” He says PBCs already exist in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Rep. Cox says traditional corporations exist for profit and wealth maximization. However, he says public benefit corporations are growing in popularity and they build in legal mandates for social and public benefit in addition to profits.

Cox says they‘re a hybrid between profit and not-for-profit firms. He says while many companies already have social missions, legislation will provide legal clarity via charters and mandates and help designated companies avoid lawsuits for failure to maximize profits. Cox says charters would require firms to pursue public benefits like local charities and other causes.

Cox says social impact investment has risen to $6.6 trillion, which has doubled in only the past few years. He says young consumers are demanding that more businesses have well-defined social benefits. He says public benefit corporation status would help facilitate issues.

Cox says he‘s still working on language and specifics of the legislation which should be introduced in committee by February.

 

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