Benefit corporations: businesses with social purposes

Registering a company as a “benefit corporation” gives a for-profit company official recognition “as a business that has a purpose,” says Gary Skulnik, CEO of Neighborhood Sun, a Bethesda startup that fosters “community solar” projects.

Perry Hooks, president of Hooks Book Events, another benefit corporation in Bethesda, said, “Business can be for good. Business should be part of the solution.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8), back in 2010 when he was a state senator, led the effort to add benefit corporations to Maryland statutes, said Skulnik. He added that Maryland was among the first states to have such a law, and the first to allow limited liability companies to designate themselves as benefit LLCs.

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