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Mass. Allows Companies To File As Benefit Corporations

By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor
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BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts has become the 10th state to allow for-profit corporations to structure themselves in a new way.

The legislation taking effect Monday allows these “benefit corporations” to prioritize business goals that create good jobs, restore the environment, help society and attract socially-conscious investors.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

Andrew Kassoy, the founder of B Lab, tells me a lot of companies are changing the way they function, because the entrepreneurs who run them want their businesses to reflect their values, and to use business to add value to society.

Some benefit corporations, or B-corps, will be able to earn an official designation similar to LEED certification for developers, or Fair Trade for food suppliers.

DiMagi, a software firm in Cambridge, had been registered in Delaware, but re-registered in Massachusetts to take advantage of the benefit corporation designation. Dancing Deer Baking Company of Hyde Park recently moved from Roxbury, but made a commitment to stay in Boston. The company provides English language training to workers, and uses environmentally friendly practices, such as vegetable ink and limited packaging.

Kassoy says these companies are turning to the benefit corporation model to attract talent, because they recognize that more young people are coming out of school and refusing to work at companies where they have to leave their values at home each day.

The new benefit designation does not offer any tax breaks, or other monetary benefits.

These corporations are required to have at least one “benefit director,” ensuring that the company does indeed serve a public benefit in measurable and reportable ways.

Information from State House News Service was used in this report.

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