As time passes on and the economic landscape in this country changes, there are more and more opportunities to start a business. Operations, financial management, and staffing are all crucial necessities for running a business, but perhaps the most important aspect of a business is ownership. After all, without competent ownership, there is no sense of leadership throughout the business. When the business reaches a crossroads, employees look to a business’s ownership to be the decision-makers and for guidance throughout precarious situations.

The three main forms of business ownership are a sole proprietorship, a partnership, and a corporation. These forms of ownership traditionally involve one or a group of individuals that maintain control over operations, make decisions regarding the business’s overarching performance ideals, and interface with investors and lawyers regarding internal affairs of the business. However, there are alternative forms of business ownership that should be thought of as viable options depending on the type of business.

In Benefit Corporation, or B-Corp, ownership, a business’s owners are dedicated to producing tangible outcomes in social and environmental settings. Owners of a B-Corpo operate with the societal landscape and with the environment in mind, rather than many other business owners who are strictly concerned with the wellbeing their own business.

In addition to the need to promote positive social and environmental outcomes, owners of a B-Corp are focused on communicating results to investors and other stakeholders. B-Corps are responsible for producing an annual report of their progress towards achieving their social and environmental goals. When B-Corps are certified by the organization B Lab, owners are required to submit these progress reports to B Lab for review to ensure that the business is meeting B Lab’s standards.

The financial and performance responsibilities of B-Corp owners are far beyond that of the owners of traditional businesses as they take more than just themselves into consideration. With this forward-thinking approach, B-Corp ownership is more than just running a business; it is contributing to the world around the business in socially and environmentally-conscious fashion.