Helen Sterling Coburn Interviewed by Maine Venture Fund for Legal Perspective on Becoming a Benefit Corporation
June 28, 2022
In September of 2019, Maine passed Benefit Corporation legislation authorizing the legal entity formation of businesses as benefit corporations. As consumer trends continue to shift toward companies whose values are clear and focus on prioritizing the planet and people alongside profits, the interest in benefit corporations is rising, led especially by the younger generations. The Maine Venture Fund is an organization that invests in dynamic businesses that have the potential for significant growth and impact in Maine, and recently interviewed experts with different perspectives weighing in on what your company should know when considering making the transition to a benefit corporation. Securities attorney and shareholder Helen Sterling Coburn, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Maine Venture Fund, was tapped for her insights given her work with early-stage companies and investors, and her experience helping companies navigate the legal requirements of becoming a Benefit Corporation under state law and B-Corp Certified. Among other context Helen provided for Maine Venture Fund’s article, Helen shared the following brief synopsis of the interplay of B Lab’s certification requirements with corporate law:
“If you’re considering going through B-Corp Certification and you’re an LLC, you don’t necessarily need to convert your legal status from a LLC to a Benefit Corporation,” said Helen. “You could modify your LLC agreement to include the legal requirements that B Lab requires for certification. If you’re a corporation though, and you are organized in a state that has a Benefit Corporation Act, which Maine now does, then you must convert to a Benefit Corporation under the applicable state law in order to obtain B Lab’s B Corp certification.”
Read the article, Considering going B-Corp?, here.