A PBC is different from other corporate forms in two key aspects:
- A PBC, by its very nature, must operate in a socially responsible and sustainable manner; and
- A PBC has an explicit corporate purpose to promote one or more public benefits.
Viability is certainly important to a PBC, but that purpose is expanded to balance social factors to enhance value to its shareholders, its customers, and the well-being of the communities where it operates. A traditional corporation prioritizes the financial interests of the shareholders where PBCs are not required to maximize shareholder value – consequently, they enjoy legal protection to balance financial and non-financial interests when making decisions. A PBC can enthusiastically explore and promote public benefits in the conduct of its corporate charter.
PBCs are not beholden to profitability – to the contrary, fulfilling its public benefit mission becomes a prime responsibility of the company, its officers, and its employees!