We hear more and more about Benefit Corporation and every day we see the proliferation of these companies. Why is this phenomenon constantly increasing? What are Benefit Corporation?
Italy was the first European Union country in 2016 to introduce this new corporate form, which is an evolution of the very concept of the company. While traditional societies exist with the primary purpose of generating profits, benefit corporation also integrate the objective of having a positive impact on society and the environment into their social object.
To become a benefit company, the legal form must be changed: by statute, environmental and social sustainability objectives are identified, with direct repercussions on the responsibility of directors. This therefore implies a formal obligation for the company, namely to present in the annual report an impact assessment on the objectives of the common good.
According to InfoCamere data, in fact, almost quadrupled the companies that chose to pursue, in addition to profit, a "common benefit": in March they reached 1,922; in the same period of 2020, while the pandemic broke out from Covid, there were just over 500. Almost all (97%) are companies already constituted a third of which resident in Lombardy and many led by young entrepreneurs and more sensitive to issues of social and environmental commitment.
This paradigm shift also benefited from an incentive from the government, which between 2020 and 2021 granted a tax credit to amortize the start-up costs or transformation of an existing company into a benefit corporation.