- B-corps are for-profit corporations focused on creating a positive social and environmental footprint along with traditional business goals, but require legal recognition in Michigan.
- There are more than 3,500 B-corps registered globally. In the U.S., 36 states and the District of Columbia legally recognize these types of entities.
- Michigan is currently home to 19 certified B-corps and counting, in need of greater legal protections through legislative action when engaging in their social impact and philanthropic goals.
LANSING, Mich., October 14, 2020 — House Democratic Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and state Reps. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield) and Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) introduced a comprehensive 4-bill package to allow legal recognition of benefit corporations, or B-corps, in Michigan.
“This legislation will be vital to ensuring our state has both the adaptability and flexibility needed to remain competitive in the 21st-century economy going forward, especially as we continue to battle the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Greig. “B-corps have a proven track-record of attracting investors, employees and consumers, which means greater opportunity for the people and businesses of our state. Simply put, we cannot afford to leave any stone unturned; without this package, we’d be leaving money on the table and countless Michiganders out in the cold, unable to fully engage in the bright, successful economic future they deserve.”
As a type of for-profit corporation, B-corps focus on rendering a positive social and environmental footprint in addition to the traditional business goals of maximizing shareholder profits. Currently, while companies can become B-corp certified, the status has yet to be legally recognized in Michigan, leaving businesses and entrepreneurs open to liability for engaging in their social impact and philanthropic goals.
With more than 3,500 benefit corporations registered across the country and world, this package would align Michigan with the 36 other states and the District of Columbia where B-corps are recognized. As it stands, Michigan is home to 19 certified B-corps located throughout the state.
“In addition to economic opportunity, there’s also a lot to be said about the importance of fostering business practices that aim to actively give back to the people of our state, strengthen our neighborhoods and respect our precious natural resources from the get-go,” said Koleszar. “B-corps are the future of corporate responsibility and a good step forward for our businesses and communities, and what’s good for our businesses and communities is good for Michigan. I look forward to continuing our work on this much-needed legislation to bring our state to the forefront of economic development.”
Collectively, the bills in this package would:
- HB 6309: Create the legal status for benefit corps (Greig)
- HB 6310: Require annual benefit reports from benefit corps, outlines content to be included and access for shareholders (Hood)
- HB 6311: Update the Business Corporation Act to include benefit corps (Bolden)
- HB 6312: Update the Business Corporation Act to allow a benefit corp to file its annual benefit report at the same time it files regular annual reports (Koleszar)