Benefit Corporation

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A benefit corporation is an option under Vermont law that allows a for-profit corporation to incorporate a social mission with its financial goals. The benefit corporation is an option for both new and existing for-profit corporations.

This option allows the benefit corporation to consider:

  • Providing low-income or under-served individuals or communities with beneficial products or services
  • Promoting economic opportunities for individuals or communities beyond the creation of jobs in the normal course of business
  • Preserving or improving the environment
  • Accomplishing any other identifiable benefit for society or the environment

Being a benefit corporation also allows the corporation to consider the effects of any action or inaction upon, among other things:

  • The shareholders or the benefit corporation
  • The employees and workforce of the corporation and its subsidiaries and suppliers
  • The community and societal considerations

Foreign (Non-Vermont) Benefit Corporations Doing Business in Vermont

If you are an existing out-of-state Benefit Corporation and wish to do business in Vermont, you need to obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Office of the Secretary of State. For more information about registering as a foreign corporation, please see “Foreign Business Registration.”
  

Business Name of a Benefit Corporation

Benefit Corporations:

The business name of a corporation must contain one of the following words:

  • "corporation" (Corp)
  • "incorporated" (Inc)
  • "company" (Co)
  • "limited" (Ltd)

Professional Benefit Corporations:

The business name of a professional corporation must contain 1 of the following phrases or abbreviations:

  • "professional corporation" ("PC")
  • "professional association" ("PA")
  • "limited" ("Ltd")
  • "service corporation" ("SC")

Business names may NOT contain the word "cooperative," nor the abbreviation "coop," unless duly registered with the Secretary of State as a cooperative corporation
   

Benefit Corporation Law

Please visit 11A V.S.A. Ch.21 of the Vermont Statutes Online for more information.

Registration Fees

Please see “Fees & Filings” for the costs of registration.

Duration of Registration

Once registered, you must renew your benefit corporation registration each year. For renewal information, please see “Annual/Biennial Reports.”

STOP: Before you get started, we recommend that you consult with an attorney, accountant, or business advisor about which business structure is best for you.

Registering a Benefit Corporation: Online or by Mail

Do not invest in websites, signs, business cards, or other marketing materials until you receive a certificate confirming the availability and your ownership of the requested name.

To create a Vermont (domestic) benefit corporation:

To create a benefit corporation, you must first register as either a general corporation or a close corporation; select the applicable Articles of Incorporation form; then elect to be a benefit corporation on that form. 

To register a non-Vermont (foreign) benefit corporation:

Please file an Application for Certificate of Authority.

This page was last updated: 2014-09-22