Oregon’s New Benefit Company Statute (Portland)
Lane Powell Shareholder Jeff Wolfstone will speak at an Oregon State Bar Seminar titled “Oregon’s New Benefit Company Statute,” on June 25 from 12-1:15 p.m. at Lane Powell’s office in the ODS Tower in Portland (601 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 2100). Wolfstone will discuss Oregon’s new Benefit Company legislation (HB 2296), which takes effect January 1, 2014. As of that date, an Oregon benefit company will be any Oregon corporation or LLC organized as or electing to be a benefit company. The election has the following effects:
- Purpose. The company has adopted an obligation to provide a “general public benefit,” and may elect to provide “special public benefits,” from its business and operations.
- Duty. The company’s directors, officers and managers are obligated to consider the impact of decisions on multiple stakeholders.
- Accountability. The company must annually report on how it fared against an independent third-party standard in delivering public benefits.
This new form of business entity will be of great interest within the Oregon business community because it provides a vehicle expressly combining work for profit with a charter obligation to pursue a public benefit. But clients interested in the “benefit” status must understand important details. What is the nature and required scope of the public-purpose commitment? How is it enforced? What does it mean to the board, managers, and owners of the business entity?