“Hidden Gem” Bill That Creates Socially Responsible Corporations in Florida Passes Unanimously

Apr 29 • 629 Views • View Comments

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TALLAHASSEE, FL–With the passage of SB654/HB685 today, the Legislature has created two new corporate structures in Florida for the first time in 20 years, making Florida a competitive state for social entrepreneurs with the creation of Benefit Corporations and Social Purpose Corporations.

Sponsored by Senator Clemens and Representative Rooney, the bill allows entrepreneurs and investors, through their corporations, to engage in significant societal benefit programs that take into account other factors in additional to bottom line profit. Increasingly, investors prefer placing their money with companies that are able to dedicate themselves to creating a positive impact on society, above and beyond the company’s profit.

“This is seismic shift in how corporate structure can be governed that will lead to significant investment in Florida,” Clemens said. “Everyone is looking to empower companies that perform social good while also making money.”

Representative Rooney was drawn to legislation due to his small business experience and the numerous charity work that he and his business have performed over the years.

“I really want to give the credit for this legislation to Senator Clemens. He recognized over a year ago the importance of giving corporations and their shareholders flexibility in how they structure themselves and what outcomes they wish to achieve as paramount to job growth and charitable impact in Florida. I’m confident that this legislation will attract many different types of people and their businesses to Florida for years to come,” Rooney said.

The principal statutory elements of a Social Purpose Corporation and a Benefit Corporation are substantially identical.  The primary differences are principally related to the distinction regarding the breadth of the corporation’s statutory benefit purpose. Florida joins at least 20 other states, including California, New York, and Massachusetts, that have adopted comparably designated legislation.

Chauncey Graham (850) 487-5027


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