Many employees enjoy working for employers who “do good” in the world. Making money is important but not the sole concern. Many companies and their employees are involved in charities. However, a growing number of employers are making a profit while also focusing on social and environmental concerns. We think of the owners of these companies and employees as progressive capitalists.
Last week, Governor Scott signed a law, in which Florida now joins at least 23 other states, (including California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania) which permits two new types of corporations to be created in Florida: a “Social Purpose Corporation” and a “Benefit Corporation.” Each is permitted to engage in significant societal benefit programs that may not involve or satisfy the traditional corporate goal of maximizing shareholder value.
This is a growing trend around the country that has attracted investment by socially-minded entrepreneurs and investors who wish to “do well while doing good.”
A Social Purpose Corporation is mandated by the law to pursue or create only one or more specific public benefits, such as job creation, employee welfare and environmental and ecological enhancement. In contrast, a Benefit Corporation can pursue business that has a “general public benefit, including environmental, employee, community and other societal factors” which is much broader than the mandate of a Social Purpose Corporation.
HR-let your executive suite and company owners know what’s new in Florida. You might be surprised at who may be part of the new breed of entrepreneurs in the sustainable business movement and looking to “do good.”
Guest Blogger Stuart Ames, our partner and corporate law guru, was part of a small group of Florida Bar Business Law Section members who were instrumental in drafting and helping pass this legislation.