The nonprofit organization is behind the movement to get all 50 states to allow the legal structure. B Labs currently offers a third-party "B Corp. certification" for companies in states that do not offer the legal structure.
Today, there are 12 states that have passed B Corp. legislation, and 17 other states have introduced it this year.
"Delaware's introduction of benefit corporation legislation is a tipping point in the acceleration of a global movement to redefine success in business," said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab. The legislation "creates a clear path for social entrepreneurs, sustainable business leaders and impact investors to scale their businesses in the public capital markets."
The move is significant given Delaware's already business friendly environment. More than 1 million business entities call Delaware their legal home, including 50% of all publicly traded companies and 64% of the Fortune 500, according to the release.
"Delaware is rightfully recognized worldwide for its leading role in corporate law," Delaware Governor Jack Markell said in a release. "With the addition of public benefit corporations, Delaware will continue to be a leader and support a new movement of social entrepreneurs and investors who are stepping forward to meet high standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency."
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.
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