Business Fundamentals: What is a “Sole Proprietorship”?

  We get this question all the time. Derived from the word “proprietor” – and first used in 1537 – a sole proprietorship offers the most flexibility and greatest freedom of all the business forms. However, it is not a separate entity and has no separate existence from that of it’s owner. Often times, businesses begin as sole proprietorships and graduate to more complex business forms as the business Read More

Business Fundamentals: California Corporations

A corporation is a useful way to start a new business, because as soon as you file the business’ Articles of Incorporation, the new business entity immediately becomes a separate legal entity with many of the legal rights of an individual. The choice to form a corporation, rather than conduct business as a Sole Proprietorship or Limited Liability Company, could be based on liability concerns, tax considerations, or Read More

Business Fundamentals: What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

A Limited Liability Company (or "LLC") is the easiest and most straightforward separate business entity to establish, and is also often times the next "step" in the business start-up progression after the "sole proprietorship." Contrary to a sole proprietorship, the formation of an LLC does create a legal entity separate from owner or owners, typically termed "members" in the business' operating agreement. Because Read More

Starting a Business? We're With You Every Step of the Way

Read More

California Benefit Corporations: Sample Annual Reports

Social enterprises are hot: They are springing up around the United States. California has been in the forefront of this exciting new movement of hybrid corporations that combine profit motive with the goal of good works, community consciousness, and sustainability. A benefit corporation organized under California law will be similar, in many respects, to benefit corporations in other jurisdictions, but this state Read More

Benefit Corporations: Who Enforces the Rules?

Social entrepreneurs and policymakers have joined forces in recent years to enable new forms of corporate enterprise: hybrid for-profits that are more than just engines for pumping out shareholder profits. California is in the forefront of this movement. The “benefit corporation” is one of two available models in this state for the “business-with-a-conscience.”  We’ve written about these exciting hybrids here, here, Read More

Exciting Submissions for MacArthur Foundation $100-Million Contest

Early last summer, we reported in “The MacArthur $100-Million Grant Contest,” that the prestigious MacArthur Foundation had launched an audacious competition under the slogan: “Big problems require bold solutions.” According to the terms of the “100&Change” competition announced on June 2, 2016, there is to be a $100-million award for a “single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a Read More

Transparency for Benefit Corporations

Around the nation, state legislatures are jumping on the bandwagon to authorize a new kind of for-profit corporate model for socially conscious entrepreneurs and consumers: the “benefit corporation.” We mentioned in “Social Enterprises: A Revolution Under the Radar” that California has been a leader in this movement. Each jurisdiction has its own version of this new hybrid format. The Golden State’s statutory scheme Read More

CA Benefit Corporations: Directors' Reports

Socially conscious entrepreneurs in the Golden State now have two hybrid corporate models available to achieve the goal of “business-with-a-conscience.” In “Social Enterprises: A Revolution Under the Radar,” we introduced the California  “benefit corporation” and the California“social purpose” corporation (formerly called a “flexible purpose” corporation). In “California Benefit Corporations: An Introduction,” we Read More

California Benefit Corporations: An Introduction

In recent years, the social enterprise model of business “with conscience” has been springing up all around the world. In “Social Enterprises: A Revolution Under the Radar,” we explained that California has been a leader of this emerging movement within the United States. What brought about the development of an innovative, hybrid concept of corporate structure?  Simply put, neither the traditional, for-profit nor Read More