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
Benefit Corporation Law
Please visit 11A V.S.A. Chapter 21 of the Vermont Statutes Online for more information.
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
To create a Vermont (domestic) benefit corporation
You will need to file either Articles of Incorporation as either a general corporation or a close corporation—on which you will then elect to be a benefit corporation. The form is simple and asks basic questions about your new corporation such as its name, address, registered agent, officers, directors, and business purpose. To get started, please select the applicable form below:
To register a non-Vermont (foreign) corporation
You will need to apply for a Certificate of Authority to do business in the state of Vermont:
Once registered, you must renew your benefit corporation registration each year. For renewal information, please see “Manage Your Registration.”
Do not invest in websites, banners, advertisements, or other marketing materials until you receive a certificate confirming your ownership of the requested name.
The state of Vermont operates under a “deceptively similar” standard. Under this standard, if the requested name is so similar to an already registered name, such that it would confuse the public as to whom they are dealing with, it will be rejected.
All registrations with the Office of the Secretary of State are subject to name availability rules. Please search our online database for your desired business name to avoid any obvious conflicts:
Coming soon: All registration, management, and closing functions will occur via our Online Business Service Center.