A Certified B Corporation is a hybrid between a standard corporation and a nonprofit organization. Certified B Corporations earn a profit and commit to the triple bottom line of people, profit, and planet.
A Certified B Corporation is a designation. A business owner obtains it through a voluntary certification process. Any business, whether it was already a benefit corporation or another entity like an LLC, may apply for B Corp Certification.
Receiving Certification from B Lab, the global network for the B Corp movement, is a big deal. Statistics on B Lab’s website note only one in three businesses which submit to become a Certified B Corporation certify for the designation. A Certified B Corporation is held accountable to high social and environmental standards. B Lab thoroughly vets the organization to ensure the business meets the highest standards of performance.
Becoming a Certified B Corporation means your organization is serving more than shareholders. It serves its community and the planet. This makes it the best business for the world.
How to Become a Certified B Corporation
Is your organization ready to “B The Change?” Follow these steps to submit for Certification.
1. Discuss Certification With Leadership
Prior to beginning Certification, all members of leadership must be on board with shifting to Certified B Corp status. The plans to obtain B Corp Certification must be discussed before acting. Every member of the team should understand why these changes are useful for the business.
The decision may be determined through a vote with the majority in favor of B Corp Certification. If the majority do not rule in favor, do not move forward with the Certification process.
2. Take the B Impact Assessment (BIA)
Measure what matters most using the B Impact Assessment (BIA). This free tool allows an organization to measure its impact on its workers, community, environment, and customers.
Start by taking the quick snapshot BIA assessment. This is a 30-minute test which offers an overview of what your organization does well. It suggests best practices where the business may improve.
Organizations which wish to obtain full Certification will need to complete the BIA full impact report. This assessment takes two to three hours to complete. It consists of 200 questions. To pass the BIA, you must receive a total score of 80 across all impact areas.
After taking the full impact report, you may review your results holistically. You can see how your answers compare to other businesses. Then, create a custom improvement plan to further improve upon your score and be part of the B Corp movement.
3. Complete the Disclosure Questionnaire
Answering questions in the Disclosure Questionnaire allows for a public compliant process. Background checks may be conducted as well as disclosing any sensitive business practices.
4. Meet the Legal Requirement
The legal requirement for a Certified B Corporation gives legal protection to directors and officers. It considers the interests of all stakeholders when making business decisions. This creates rights for shareholders to hold directors and officers accountable to consider these interests. Consider consulting a legal professional to ask any questions you may have and to meet the necessary legal requirement.
5. Take the Verification Process
This is a multi-step process. It allows the organization to find out if they met the 80-point score necessary for Certification. Upon completing the BIA and Disclosure Questionnaire, submit the materials for review with B Lab. A B Lab Standards Analyst will reach out and confirm your submission.
6. Schedule an Assessment Review
Once your submission has been received, you will meet with a B Lab Standards Analyst. This is typically done through a call or video chat. You’ll meet for an assessment review. This call will thoroughly review your organization and its plans to committing to the public benefit.
If the review is successful, the business will move forward for Certification. Remember to pay your certification fees and sign the B Corporation Declaration of Interdependence.
Learn more about Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations. Reach out to MyCorporation at mycorporation.com or give us a call at 877-692-6772.